Archive | April, 2018

April is “Distracted Driving Awareness Month”- But It’s a Year-Round Issue!

Posted on 13 April 2018 by Monica Zech

What Is Distracted Driving? Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.

Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.

Consequences – Distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 3,166 lives in 2017 alone.  391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015. During daylight hours, approximately 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.

Click on the link below to learn more.

*Note: “I’ve been impacted three times drivers on their cell phones – so I personally know the dangers!”

Monica Zech

Safe Driving Speaker


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TRAFFIC Information

Posted on 12 April 2018 by Monica Zech

 Monica Zech

Getting Around As Safely As Possible – the following link can help!

TRAFFIC Information & more:

  • Traffic Speeds from Caltrans! Click here to see the estimated speeds of traffic on our local freeways: Current San Diego Freeway Speeds – great to check before leaving for your destination or work – be your own traffic reporter! “Know before you go!
  • You can also call 5-1-1 for traffic information.
  • Looking for a variety of health and other resources, especially following a disaster, such as an earthquake or wildfire – call 2-1-1

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Depression, Suicidal Thoughts? Light for Life Foundation Can Help You

Posted on 09 April 2018 by Ron Cook

Light for Life Foundation Please call the San Diego 24 hour Crisis Hotline at 1(888) 724-7240, or the National Hotline at 1(800) 273-8255 – If you are in need and don’t know how to ask for help please call these hotlines. Life is precious – we care.

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Feeling Sad, Stressed, Depressed? Important Numbers & Links To Prevent Suicide

Posted on 09 April 2018 by Monica Zech

Dear Friends,

Thank you for checking this posting.

Many of us have experienced the feeling of loss, sadness, depression, and stress…sometimes leading to thoughts of “suicide.”  The worst thing you can do is to drink alcoholic beverages – this will only make the problem seem bigger.  Alcohol is a drug – a depressant, thus making you depressed.

Please click on the following link for a story about “help” available in our County.  There is “hope” – and sometimes, by having a clear-rested mind, such as good nights sleep, the problem is not as bad as it first seemed.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255

If you’ve had thoughts that “no one cares” – “wrong” – I care about you, and that’s why I’m posting this very important link.  There is hope – here are additional resources.

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Is Your Safety Car Seat Installed Correctly?

Posted on 09 April 2018 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: or – 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

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 or for once a month car seat check-up events at local retail stores throughout the community
  • 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
    P.O. 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 8 years old or 80 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 airbag 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 your children 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 loved 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 airbag.  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 the 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 – (888) 846-4200 – toll-free.

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 airbags (including side airbags). Check this site regularly!  My question – “Are you and your family buckled up safely???”

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

    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.

Facts about Safety SeatsMotor 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 the 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, model number, date. The model number and 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, airbags…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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Drug Abuse – Say NO To Drugs – Important Websites

Posted on 09 April 2018 by Monica Zech

Drug Abuse – Be Informed

You’ve heard the phrase “Say No to drugs” dozens of times.  But it’s so true!  I’ve seen drugs ruin lives – health – careers – families – relationships – lead to crime…the negative results are endless.  The opioid crisis is real!


Please be informed, check the following websites for important information:

With the passage of recreational marijuana use in California, see what has happened in Colorado since they passed the same law:

Exclusive: Traffic fatalities linked to marijuana are up sharply in Colorado. Is legalization to blame?

More important websites that can inform and help:


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Just Slow Down! Speed Kills and Injures (Video)

Posted on 08 April 2018 by Monica Zech

A powerful video reminding us to “slow down” especially on surface streets, especially in the area around schools:

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DUI Driver Sentenced to 17 Years for Crash that Killed 2, Seriously Injured 3 Others

Posted on 08 April 2018 by Monica Zech

Man gets 17 years in prison for the 2015 wrong way crash that killed two medical school students, and badly injured three others…

Jason Riley King 

Greg Moran – Reporter

A San Diego judge sentenced a former Miramar Marine who drove the wrong way down a freeway while drunk, crashing into a car full of medical students and killing two, to 17 years in prison Friday.

The sentence Judge Joan Weber handed down to Jason Riley King brought to a close a gut-wrenching case, one that the veteran jurist who has been on the bench for 28 years said was the worst case of its kind she has handled.

DUI driver Jason-riley-King-age 24 Killed 2 1024x574

“This is, without question, the most tragic one I’ve ever had,” said Weber, one of the San Diego Superior Court’s most experienced judges who has presided over numerous homicide and violent crime cases.

King, 24, was convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and drunken driving in January. The same jury that found King guilty of those crimes, acquitted him of the far more serious charge of murder in connection with the May 16, 2015 collision that killed two medical school students, 23-year-old Madison Cornwell and 24-year-old Anne Li Baldock.

UCSD-med-students Madison and Anne killed by DUI driver-768x416

Three others who were passengers in Cornwell’s car were seriously injured.

King was found to have a blood alcohol content of between 0.15 percent and 0.20 percent, well above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

The crash occurred on state Route 163 near Interstate 8. King, then a Miramar-based Marine, was driving south in the northbound lane following a night of heavy drinking at a Mission Valley bar.

The raised F-350 truck he was driving smashed head-on into the Prius Cornwell was piloting, shearing off the left side of the smaller car.

At the trial, Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright told the jury that both a bartender and a friend King was with tried to stop him from driving but King insisted, remarking “I got myself here, I’ll get myself home.”

King’s attorney Richard Hutton admitted in trial that his client was intoxicated and driving but said he was not guilty of murder. That would require prosecutors proving King acted deliberately, which he contended he did not.

On Friday, Hutton said Riley would have pleaded guilty much earlier, and avoided the trial, if prosecutors had not insisted on pursuing a murder charge.

Weber noted that Cornwell and Baldock were young women of great promise, one aiming to be a pediatrician and the other a neurosurgeon.

Laura Cornwell read a powerful statement in court, recalling that her daughter’s “gentle ways, smile and warmth drew people to her.”

Cornwell, Baldock and their friends were were celebrating the end of their second year of classes. The group gathered for a house party in Hillcrest, with Cornwell as the designated driver.

She dropped off one student in North Park, then headed north to the UC San Diego graduate student housing where the rest of the students lived.

One of the injured, Stosh Ozog, testified the collision left him with his spine fractured in three places, two broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a concussion and other injuries. He wore a back brace for four months and still endures pain as he continues his medical school program, he said.

Jared Molitoris said he suffered a fractured sternum and learning disabilities including memory loss, which delayed his return to medical school until last May.

A third passenger, Yuki Iizuka, has suffered severe memory loss from brain trauma, along with a fractured femur and eye and hand injuries that all required several surgeries. He resumed medical school last May.

His mother, Maki, told the judge that her son has worked incredibly hard to get back to school, but will always have to deal with the damage from the crash. She urged King, who spent most of the hearing weeping and apologized to the families in a brief statement, to do the same while in prison.

“I want you to study, learn,” she said forcefully. “I want you to learn what parents who lose children go through.”

Before pronouncing the sentence, Weber said the case had impacted six families — those of the victims and King’s, who were also in attendance. “You could not have a more tragic case than what we went through,” she said of the trial.

And she added a sad and true coda about this case, and similar fatal drunken driving cases. “In 2018, as it was in 2015,” the judge said, “this crime is preventable.” With ride hailing services like Uber and Lyft, taxis, and other options, drunken driving deaths can be avoided, she said.

The case prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to sign a state law last year requiring bartenders to take training in recognizing when customers are too drunk to be served more alcohol.



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The Real-Life Dangers of Texting and Driving!

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