San Jose pushes for safer roads during Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Lauren Martinez Image
Thursday, April 4, 2024
SJ pushes for safer roads during Distracted Driving Awareness Month
The city of San Jose is pushing for safer roads during Distracted Driving Awareness Month by using incorporating electronic messaging signs.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- New efforts are underway to help raise awareness around distracted driving. The push for safer roads comes the same week of two tragedies on San Jose roads.

Loved ones and neighbors are dropping off flowers at the scene of a deadly hit-and-run in San Jose.

Police say around 4 a.m. Wednesday the driver of a Chevy Camaro sedan - traveling at a high rate of speed - failed to stop at the intersection at Daniel Maloney Drive and Nieman Boulevard.

Police say the driver struck and killed a man behind the wheel of a Nissan Frontier pickup truck.

MORE: San Jose mayor talks about traffic safety plan after another string of pedestrian deaths

Police say this loss marked the 12th traffic death of this year.

On Sunday evening, police responded to a deadly pedestrian collision off Saratoga Avenue.

A neighbor who lives off of Daniel Maloney and Nieman says with not enough light and signage, the intersection is prone to crashes.

He'd like to see the city install a traffic light.

MORE: CA roads are 3rd deadliest in US for pedestrians, data shows. Here's how Bay Area counties fare

The city of San Jose does have a plan to make the four-way stop safer by installing a roundabout.

Colin Heyne, public information manager for the San Jose Department of Transportation, says a roundabout has the benefit of preventing a couple types of crashes that can still occur in a signalized intersection.

"A roundabout actually could have potentially prevented the crash that happened this morning. They're designed so that vehicles are all driving in the same direction and in a circle which almost entirely prevents head-on collisions and significantly reduces the potential for T-bone collisions," Heyne said.

The city says they're in the design process for the roundabout now and they expect to start and finish the project in 2025.

MORE: Here's how San Jose plans to use artificial intelligence to stop pedestrian traffic deaths

To promote safe habits during Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the city is pushing out electronic messaging signs on some of the high crash or high injury corridors in San Jose.

They strongly urge drivers to mute notifications when on the road.

"On our website, you can find the blogpost that has instructions for turning off notifications while driving on both Apple and Android phones as well as turning off notifications on Apple CarPlay. Cars are increasingly becoming the distraction themselves, and so we want to help people turn off those pings, and buzzes and flashing screens so they can focus on driving," Heyne said.

The message boards that display 'Eyes up phones down' will have different locations during the month of April.

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