Monica Zech – Safe Driving Speaker 

A native of San Diegan, Monica began her career as a news reporter in 1974, and in 1984 she became San Diego’s first female Air Traffic Reporter and San Diego’s first Television Air Traffic Reporter for the Automobile Club of Southern California, which later became Metro Networks. During her 18 years as a traffic reporter, she most enjoyed her work in the community providing safe driving presentations.

As Monica’s passion for safety grew, in 2001, she left the world of broadcasting to become the Public Information Officer and Fire Safety Specialist (Inspector/Investigator) for an East County Fire Department. In July 2005, she became the City’s Public Information Officer until her retirement in August 2019.

Since 1984 (39 years), Monica has continued to deliver her dynamic Safe Driving presentations in the community “full time,” staying on top of the latest research and trends and sharing her life-changing experience.

“Safe Driving” is Monica’s passion and mission. She enjoys her ongoing safety research working with first responders (police, firefighters, paramedics, and 9-1-1 dispatchers), the medical examiner’s office, and various safety organizations, including MADD (Mothers Against Drunk & Drugged Driving) and NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Adminstration). 

Due to this ongoing research that began in 1984, Monica quickly saw the crucial need to add safety education to her on-air traffic reports and to provide driving safety lectures in the community. As a result, the demand for her talks spread to schools and colleges, major companies, and Military bases locally and nationally!

Monica also speaks to driver education classes, traffic schools, and parenting classes. When speaking to parenting groups, Monica enjoys helping parents become better safety role models for their children. It’s important to know that parents are the number one role models for safety, especially behind the wheel, for their children. Therefore, how you drive will reflect on how your children will drive.

“Stay Alert – Stay Alive!”

Monica’s presentation is called “Stay Alert-Stay Alive!” Her talks are informative, entertaining, powerful, and thought-provoking, changing how you view traffic. Monica speaks from first-hand experience, giving an emergency agency perspective and a “personal” perspective due to traffic incidents that have impacted her life.

Monica addresses the top safety issues in her presentations; the dangers of distracted driving – such as texting, aggressive driving, and road rage. She was also driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, motorcycle safety and pedestrian safety. Monica enjoys speaking to all age groups.

Personal Experience – Monica offers a unique look at safety, giving a “victim’s perspective” – a side most people don’t see. Sadly, on June 5, 1992, Monica’s message took on an even deeper meaning when her father was struck and killed as a pedestrian by a drunk driver. He was legally crossing a street near the family home when he was dead at only 63 years of age.

But lightning struck twice for Monica and her family. In February of 2005, Monica’s then 25-year-old daughter was hit and injured by a 17-year-old unlicensed D.U.I. driver. Thanks to her daughters’ alertness and quick reaction, she was able to avoid a direct side impact on her driver’s side. A year later, her daughter became a paramedic; this eventually led to her career as a Physician’s Assistant.

Before her daughter’s collision on August 29, 2003, Monica was the victim of a STOP sign runner – a crash that two surgeons said should have paralyzed her. Injuries from that collision resulted in neck and double knee surgeries.   Monica shares her personal experiences in her talks but quickly notes that she continues to speak on behalf of “all” those injured and killed in preventable crashes.

San Diego’s “first” Television Air Traffic Reporter:   During Monica’s early years as an Air Traffic Reporter, it was quite an honor and accomplishment for her broadcast career to have the unique opportunity of delivering traffic and news for two Television stations and ten radio stations during morning and afternoon commutes.

Award-Winning:  In that first year of reporting from the air, Monica was the first airborne reporter on the scene for the San Ysidro McDonalds massacre on July 18, 1984. She reported non-stop, for an hour and 45 minutes, until SWAT Team snipers fired the last shot that ended the siege. She received a Golden Mike and two San Diego Press Club awards for her reporting. This was followed by numerous safety awards for her safe driving presentations. (See her awards section on this website.)

Local Recognition: Monica’s dedication to safety has been recognized by others in the community. In 1995, Monica was asked by then-San Diego Mayor Susan Golding to be a member of the Mayor’s Transportation Demand Appeals Board.

Research: In 1998, Monica’s work was recognized nationally when she received a call from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in Washington D.C. to help as a consultant, researcher, and educator on a committee to address the growing problem of “aggressive driving and road rage.” Working with San Diego State University, Monica began educating her audiences on ways to reduce the stress of Driving and how to deal with “road rage.” She also addressed the problem of “Red Light Running” and the essential need for “RED Light Photo Enforcement cameras.” Recognizing her efforts, the National Campaign Against Red Light Running in Washington D.C. named Monica their San Diego spokesperson in 2001.

Monica has been delivering her life-saving messages for more than 39 years (since 1984), and she looks forward to speaking to your group!

Contact:  If you would like to arrange for an inspiring safe driving presentation to enhance your current safety programs, or have additional questions, contact Monica directly at (619) 219-9030 or by email: at [email protected].


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