Archive | January, 2011

Aggressive Driving – Research & A Dedication

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Ron Cook

Durham Sprague

*In my safe driving lectures I have a special dedication when addressing the subject of “aggressive driving”…I dedicate my talks to the memory of someone very special who was killed by an aggressive driver on September 1, 2000, his name is “Mr. Durham Sprague”. (Seated in the center above)  He was a retired Carlsbad Firefighter, who raised 4 children, three of them sons – all Carlsbad Firefighters, along with a wonderful daughter, a newspaper/magazine journalist and one of my best friends – Jeannie!  (She’s seated on the far left in the picture above.)

Mr. Sprague was killed on northbound 805 in San Diego, California, near Murray Ridge as he attempted to merge into lanes.  An aggressive-reckless driver, speeding and weaving through traffic, struck Mr. Sprague’s vehicle causing him to roll off the freeway.  The driver who struck and killed Mr. Sprague had a history of reckless driving.

Sadly, aggressive driving kills and injures motorists everyday on our roadways.  This type of driving often leads to the “road rage” factor.   My safety lectures addresses “aggressive driving” and how to curb “road rage.”   I talk about how to deal with stress & road rage, either your own rage or that of other drivers.  My lectures will open your eyes to the dangers and how you can reduce these dangers on our roadways.  First, “we” have “NO” control over other drives, but we do have control of our “own actions.”  In the 1990’s I was honored to assist with research on road rage with San Diego State University and the National Highway Traffic Safety Adminstration (NHTSA).

In my talks I provide my audience with  a “professional and personal” look at what it takes to increase your survival on our streets and highways!  I provide tips on how to avoid making the same mistakes others have made that caused their collision.  My goal is to make you more aware of these problems that surround us and to reduce the “risk factors” of having a collision.

These talks have been in high demand for driver education/training courses, schools (all levels), traffic schools, Life Skills Classes, Parenting classes, military safety stand downs and for company safety conferences and briefings.  I do utilize some stats in my talks, but I put faces with those stats.  Most are local faces, including yours truly.   But keep in mind – I do not “sugar coat” the issues since my goal is to save lives!  (But of course, when speaking to young teens and young children I am very careful.)

If you’d like me to speak to your group please email your request to:  monicazech@, or call me direct at (619) 219-9030 – or go to the contact section of this website.

Safe driving! 

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Buckle Up & STOP Texting – Remember Alex Brown Foundation

Posted on 30 January 2011 by Monica Zech

On November 10, 2009, the Brown family’s teenage daughter died following a single car crash.  The investigation found she had been “texting” when she rolled her truck off the roadway.  As it rolled she was ejected through the front windshield.

Her parents started the “Remember Alex Brown Foundation” known as B.U.S.T. – Buckle Up & STOP Texting program.  Click on the following links for more information.

Saving lives!

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Report Animal Cruelty

Posted on 26 January 2011 by Monica Zech

County Joins Crime Stoppers to Reduce Animal Cruelty


January 26, 2010

The County of San Diego Department of Animal Services (DAS) is now working with San Diego County Crime Stoppers to help stop animal cruelty. DAS has established a reward fund to help pay tipsters who report acts of animal cruelty. A portion of the reward money is being provided by San Diego Animal Advocates.

Currently, DAS spends hundreds of hours each month investigating animal cruelty and neglect cases in San Diego County.

“We hope that this unique partnership will help reduce animal cruelty cases in our County,” said Lieutenant Daniel DeSousa of the Department of Animal Services. “We encourage everyone in our community to be our eyes and ears in the fight against animal cruelty.”

As part of the Crime Stoppers partnership, DAS will post decals on animal control vehicles to promote the program.

“Citizens will have the phone number readily available if they witness any acts of animal cruelty,” DeSousa said. “It also puts offenders on notice that people are watching.”

The program is simple. A tipster can call in anonymously to report an animal related crime. If an arrest is made and a reward has been authorized, the tipster is given directions on how to collect his or her reward.

Over the past 26 years, San Diego County Crime Stoppers has paid out more than a half million dollars to people whose tips closed more than 4,000 cases and led to the arrests of more than 2,800 people.

Anyone with information about animal cruelty can contact Crime Stoppers’ anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. Anonymous web and text messages can be sent via

Crime Stoppers is offering rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in felony animal cruelty cases. 

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Is Your Safety Car Seat Installed Correctly?

Posted on 01 January 2011 by Ron Cook

Note: Remember, when buying a safety car seat you’re investing in your child’s safety & future!

*But not all car seats fit all cars. You may have to try out different models to fit your vehicle. In San Diego County many of the California Highway Patrol Offices,and some police departments have a designated officer to help install your car seat. Check the list below for the nearest office.

    • For some immediate help visit: – great for recall information. Check it regularly for any changes or alerts.

Resources For Safety Carseat Installations…

Here in San Diego County – to check and see if your carseat is installed correctly, several people have been trained to help install safety car seats to better protect your children. There are several resources to turn to for help.

Here are some of the Law Enforcement sources trained in Safety Car Seat installations – these are by appointment only:

Please call ahead – safety car seat checks are subject to change!

CHP Offices
El Cajon CHP – 619-401-2000
Pacific Highway CHP 619-220-5492
Oceanside CHP 760-757-1675
Temecula CHP 951-506-2000

Lemon Grove Sheriff 619-337-2000
Escondido Police 760-839-4707
Encinitas Sheriff 760-966-3587
Bonita Fire Department 619-479-2346
Solana Beach Fire Department 858-720-4411
Rancho Santa Fe Fire Department 858-756-5971

Safety Car Seat Events & Classes

Pacific Safety Council 858-621-2313 x116

La Mesa Police 619-667-1400

Please call ahead – information is subject to change.

Lemon Grove Sheriff’s Sub Station
3240 Main Street
Lemon Grove, CA 91945
(619) 337-2000

Escondido Police Department
700 West Grand Avenue
Escondido, Ca. 92025
For A Child Car Seat Inspection Call – 760-839-4707

*Additional resources that can help:

  • San Diego Safe Kids Coalition will check car seats and the number to reach a tech is 858-576-1700 x5096.Please visit for once a month car seat check up events at local retail stores throughout the community.Or, if you still have questions? Please contact:The EXPERT In Safety Car Seats In San Diego!
  • Call the Safety Car Seat information from Rady’s Children’s Hospital – the San Diego Safe Kids Coalition hotline at 858-576-1700, ext-5096, this is a recorded message with all of the locations that one can go to have their seats checked for proper installation. It lists all the locations that are current and active.
  • Or write:
    Safety Belt Safe U.S.A
    PO BOx 552
    Altadena, CA 91003
    Or call: 310-222-6860Call the Pacific Safety Council at (858) 621-2313 ext. 15, or ex. 16 or call 858-573-5089. Otherwise NHTSA’s website has an option to search by city or zip code to locate the closest fitting station.
  • Check this next site often for recalls or possible problems with safety car seats:Recalls On Products? As your family begins to use items received as holiday gifts, the National SAFE KIDS Campaign encourages you to to keep up with all the latest product recalls.First – know the Law!!!Children 6 years old or 60 pounds must be in a child passenger safety seat.Infants should ride in rear-facing safety seats as long as possible, until they are 12 months old and weigh 20 pounds. Children, who are at least 1 year old, weigh 20 to 40 pounds, and can no longer ride rear-facing should ride in forward-facing child safety seats.Children over 40 pounds should be correctly secured in belt-positioning boosters or other appropriate child restraints or safety car seat until the adult lap and shoulder belts fit correctly (usually around age 8). Once the vehicle safety belts fit children, both lap and shoulder belts should be correctly used.All children ages 12 and under should always be properly restrained in the back seat every time, no matter how short the trip.All safety seats must be installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions and vehicle owner’s manual. READ YOUR MANUALS! You will be surprised at the information that is available to you.
  • Contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Auto Safety Hotline, (888) 327-4236, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, (800) 638-2772 or, to inquire about any recalls or safety notices on child safety seats. When you purchase a new safety seat, return the product registration form provided to the manufacturer to ensure that you will be notified of any recalls.
  • Fines? Legislation (AB 1625), authored by Assemblyman John Benoit, allows penalty assessments and court costs to be added on top of a base fine. In essence, what previously cost $22.50 on a first offense will now run more than three times that amount. Drivers will also face penalties if passengers are not safely buckled.There are several exemptions, including cases where:*There are other children in the back seat
    *A restraint system cannot properly be installed
    *There is no rear seat
    *The rear seat is rear-facing or side-facingInfants less than one year of age or weighing less than 20 pounds must ride in the back, no exceptions, if there is an active passenger air bag in the front seat. A first offense is punishable by a fine of $100 (subject to change); second offenses will cost $250 (Vehicle Code: section 27360.5). Remember – the life of your child is priceless!
  • It’s simple – “Buckle-UP – it’s a snap!!!” Research shows if you buckle-up yourchildren will buckle-up! As emergency agencies, almost daily we see how wearing a seat restraint increases your chances of survival in a car collision. It’s being prepared for the “un-expected”! And it’s the LAW! A law that’s saving lives! Possibly your life or that of a love one.The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) would like to take this opportunity to remind pediatricians and parents of the AAP recommendations for safe transportation of children.Infants should ride in rear-facing child safety seats until they have reached both 20 pounds AND one year of age. The AAP recommends keeping children rear-facing to the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer. Never place a rear-facing car safety seat in front of an air bag.Children who have outgrown their rear-facing seats should ride in forward-facing car safety seats for as long as the child fits well (eg, ears below the top of the back of the seat and shoulders below the seat strap slots).Children who have outgrown their child safety seats but are too small to wear seat belts properly should ride in booster seats. For more information about safe transportation of children who have outgrown their car safety seats, please see the February 5, 1999 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.Seat belts fit properly when they can be worn with the lap portion of the belt low and tight across the hips, and the shoulder portion across the shoulders without cutting across the face and neck.Remember that all children are safest in the back seat.Additional Contact Information:
    The Pacific Safety Council
    9880 Via Pasar #F
    San Diego, CA 92126
    Or call directly: (888) 846-4200- toll-free
    (858) 689-0040 Fax

    Are you and your family riding safely? Are you buying a new vehicle? Please check this Web Site first: from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This site includes crash tests and roll-over ratings, defects and recalls, and FAQs about air bags (including side air bags). Check this site regularly!

    My question – “Are you and your family buckled up safely???”

  • For immediate information to help on safety carseat installations, scroll down to “The Resources”… following this are the laws and general information regarding safety carseats.

    Note: As a parent – are you always buckled up correctly? If you wear your seat belt – so will your child! But, is your child’s safety car seat installed correctly?

    Unfortunately studies show over 90% of the safety car seats in use are not installed correctly! So the fatality rate is very high for children involved in car collisions.

    *Another fact – not all safety car seats fit all cars!

  • When buying a new safety car seat “always” send in the warranty cards in case of recalls. Don’t scrimp on your child’s safety – never buy a car seat from a garage sale or thrift store, or as a hand me down from a friend.
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    Facts about Safety Seats:Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injuries and death for children.When used correctly, child safety seats can reduce fatal injuries in cars by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for children from age 1-4.More than 97 percent of child safety seats are NOT used correctly.Safety Seat GuideInfants must ride in rear-facing (facing toward the back of the car) safety seats until they are about two years old AND weigh 20 pounds.Toddlers that are over 1 year and over 20 pounds should ride in a forward-facing child safety seat.

    Young children that are over 40-60 pounds should ride in a forward-facing, belt positioning booster seat.

    The best place to put your child is in the back seat of your car. All children age 12 and under should ALWAYS ride in the back seat.

    From Buckle Up San Diego – When going to a Child Safety Seat Checkup:

    Your child is precious cargo! Custom safety seat checks are very thorough and require time. Trained checkers teams require a minimum of 30-45 minutes per seat. We suggest that you come early and be prepared for a wait. We distribute numbers when you check in due to the time required. Plan to let us know how many seats and children you want checked. Many children arrive in seat belts that should be in belt positioning boosters. We will provide guidance on correct fit criteria for children who have outgrown child safety seats.

    When you come to a checkup, please bring your safety seat instruction booklet and the vehicle owners’ manual if possible.

    *Not every child safety seat is appropriate for every child, works correctly in every vehicle or seating position or with the many types of seat belts and retractors.

    Basic information about correct installation and use of child safety seats including boosters, seat belts, air bags and more can be sent to you, if you provide some important information. Every situation, child, vehicle, belt system are different so we need to know the following:

    Your name (spell it please if calling)
    Mailing address
    Age and weight of all children involved
    Due date if pregnant

    From each car seat/booster: Manufacturer name, model name, mftr model number, mftr date. The mftr model number and mftr date are found on a stamped sticker on the back, bottom, or side of each car seat.

    Vehicle make, model, year, 2 or 4 door, air bags…driver/passenger/side-impact.

  • Remember to provide all the necessary information. These details can make a difference in your child’s life! 
  •  Don’t forget to always wear your seat belt and be a good safety role model for your children…in everything you do.


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