Archive | News Articles

Dangers of Drunk Driving, Drowsy Driving, and Distracted Driving

Posted on 16 May 2022 by Monica Zech

Taking a Look At The Dangers of Drunk Driving, Drowsy Driving, and Distracted Driving.

A research article from Injury Trial Lawyers Meirowitz & Wasserberg in New York, compares the dangers of drunk driving, drowsy driving, and distracted driving. Not surprisingly, they are all terrifyingly dangerous often resulting in injury and death on our roadways.

To see these articles, as well as some specific statistics and details about drunk driving, click on the link below:

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Photo Library of My Career

Posted on 30 November 2021 by Monica Zech

Photo Library – Highlights During My Career

Sharing some fun photos and special honors during my career. I feel so blessed and grateful for the many opportunities I’ve been given in my career!

(1984-2001) – I’m proud to have been San Diego’s 1st female Air Traffic Reporter and the first Television Traffic Reporter for the Automobile Club of Southern California.





This photo was my first Public Relations picture as an air traffic reporter for the Auto Club.







Climbing into our traffic helicopter at Montgomery field







Flying over San Diego, my office in the sky!









From my first year as an air traffic reporter with my pilot Captain Dennis Hottenstien.















In 1985, I had the honor of co-hosting a United Way event at the Old Globe Theater with baseball great Steve Garvey – that was a fun evening!


Below, I had the honor of meeting former San Diego Charger Coach Don Coryell. I was so excited to meet him, but I was stunned when he said he was excited to meet me. He coached the Chargers from 1978 to 1986. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2010 at the age of 85.












In 2016 I was very honored to be given the first honorary Associate of Arts degree by Grossmont College. It was Grossmont’s first honorary degree ever given at the College. Thank you for this honor!















In 2010, I was invited by the PTA of a Private High School in Miami, Florida, to deliver one of my safe driving talks to their students, they especially wanted me to target the dangers of “texting” behind the wheel. They had this wonderful banner made to promote my presentation at the school. I first spoke to the students at a noon assembly and was then scheduled to talk to their parents later that evening. I was forewarned not to expect very many parents to attend. But, to their surprise, it was “standing room only!” Students had insisted that their parents come to see my presentation and many of the students came back to see my presentation again. Needless to say, it was a very successful trip!










In 2001, I was honored to be the El Cajon Fire Department’s first Public Information Officer (PIO) and safety educator. In 2005, I became the City’s first PIO.











Following 9/11, it was such an honor to meet several New York City firefighters who came to provide fire training classes at the fire training facility in El Cajon. In the picture is my daughter Victoria and a New York City Firefighter.









In 1994, I was very honored to be the first female emcee of the Fairest of the Fair pageant for the Del Mar Fair, now the San Diego County Fair. For the first 49 years, the pageant had a male emcee, so it was quite an honor. My father would have been so proud to have been there, he loved the Del Mar Fair.  He was killed by a DUI driver two years before this event.












I was given this beautiful crown as a thank you gift for emceeing a Miss La Jolla Fairest of the Fair pageant.




On November 5, 1993, I was invited to be the Guest of Honor at the Recruit Training Command at the Naval Training Center (NTC) – this was the second to last graduating class before the Naval Training Center officially closed.  It was an emotional day in which they also paid tribute to my father. My father graduated from NTC when he came to San Diego when he joined the Navy. He was killed a year before this special event.






At a freeway opening, I was the emcee of this special event for Caltrans. Then-Senator Lucy Killea came up to thank me for my work as an air traffic reporter and for promoting safety on the air and in the community. I was so honored by her remarks.











I was honored to be the emcee for the official opening of the Otay Mesa Border Crossing in 1983.











In this first photo, I was invited to speak to students at Chase Avenue Elementary in El Cajon. I spoke to them about my job as an air traffic reporter and about the importance of safety. When I arrived, I found this wonderful sign hanging in front of the school. Wow-what a welcome!























I was invited to the school by this young lady “Monica Ambrose.” She presented me with these beautiful flowers as a thank you! She is now grown with a beautiful family of her own.









Among my duties with the El Cajon Fire Department, I was their safety educator. It was an incredible opportunity to educate our young people on fire safety. One of my favorite events was the 3rd Grade Home Escape Plan Poster contest. Pictured here is one of our 1st Place winners. During my first year of talking to 3rd-grade classes about the importance of having a home escape plan, I’ll never forget a comment from one of the students. A young girl walked up to me while students were leaving the assembly and said proudly, “When I grow up, I want to be just like you!” I almost cried, I thanked her as she gave me a big hug!” I knew then I had made the right decision to leave broadcasting and join the fire department. I was also trained in fire investigation and conducting fire inspections in the city.

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Head-On Collisions On The Rise

Posted on 22 June 2021 by Monica Zech

Traffic Check With Monica Zech: Sharing my Facebook post regarding the rise in head-on collisions on our roadways.
Traffic Advice & Alert: Due to several recent tragedies. I’ve been lecturing for a while about the rise in head-on collisions in our County. More often than not these crashes are caused by DUI drivers.
I offer these tips (included in my safe driving talks):
1. Head-on collisions often happen in the far left-hand lane, what some people call the “fast lane.” So stay out of this lane if possible, especially late at night.
2. The reason DUI drivers are in this lane – they know they’re under the influence of a drug (like alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs) so they stay in the far RIGHT-hand lane – BUT, since they’re traveling in the wrong direction – it’s the far “LEFT-hand lane.”
3. For alcohol – the first sip is immediately in your blood system and immediately impairing your body, slowing reaction time and judgment – two important factors you need to be a “safe driver.” So, NO AMOUNT is safe when it comes to driving. Make plans not to drive if your plans include alcohol or other drugs, plan ahead to have a SOBER designated driver. Call a friend, reserve a cab, or UBER.
4. When driving impaired you’re not only risking your life but the lives of others. You risk FAMILY & FRIENDS riding with you – and the LIVES of those around you.
5. As always – LIVES ARE PRICELESS! But, when it comes to money, the average DUI ticket can range from $5K to $15K or more. Arranging for a cab or UBER is much less expensive.
6. You risk your current or future job. A DUI charge on your DMV record can cause you to lose your current job, but can prevent you from getting a job you may have been studying or working hard for. All those years of studying for a career can go up in smoke. A DUI can stay on your driving record for ten years or longer.
7. Use extra caution at intersections – DUI drivers often run red lights and STOP signs. At night, they often forget to turn on their headlights – so you may not see them coming – especially the wrong way. Stay alert, looking out far out ahead of you on streets and highways.
8. Another factor, are those who are on certain medications. Stay on top of your dosages – if you are not feeling well or are on medications that cause drowsiness – DO NOT DRIVE or operate any machinery.
This head-on collision occurred on June 4, 2021.  A wrong-way driver struck the blue vehicle killing two law enforcement officers (husband & wife detectives).

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It’s a Year-Round Problem- Never Leave Children, the Elderly, or Pets Alone in Vehicles!

Posted on 05 February 2020 by Monica Zech

During warm weather and especially during heat advisories – NEVER leave babies/children/elderly and pets alone in hot vehicles – it can quickly become a death trap. I’ve seen two pets left in vehicles this past week and was about to call 9-1-1 when the owners returned.

If you love them – don’t leave them!  And don’t walk your dogs on hot asphalt and side-walks during hot weather days – this will burn their paws!

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Red Light Running Hits Deadly All Time High

Posted on 01 December 2019 by Monica Zech

As cities began turning off RED Light cameras, in San Diego, I personally saw the dramatic increase in red-light runners at lighted intersections.   In the news, I also saw the rise of collisions involving red-light runners.   A red light camera police officer told me several years ago, that there was a 300-percent increase in collisions at intersections the first time San Diego turned off red-light cameras, the second and final time they turned off cameras, that same day, there was a fatal crash when a nanny pushing a baby stroller was struck and killed by a red-light runner.

In August of 2019, the Automobile Club of Southern California released a report on the dramatic increase in red-light running fatalities at intersections.

Here are their findings:

I cover this topic in my safe driving talks, alerting motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists to use extra caution at intersections:

  • Slow down for intersections – so drivers behind you will slow down.
  • When sitting at a red light and the light turns green for you – HOLD IT!  DON’T GO UNTIL IT’S SAFE TO GO!
  • Before going – “look” to your right and then left, and then look again – watch out for the red light runner who floored a block or two away.  They may be traveling 60 to 70 mph – that’s why crashes that occur are often fatal.

Stay Alert-Stay Alive!

Monica Zech


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Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage – A Must Have!

Posted on 09 November 2019 by Monica Zech

Important information…

It’s time to check your motorist insurance policy.  The BIG question, for your protection, do you have “uninsured/underinsured” motorist insurance coverage???

It’s important to make sure you and your passengers are well covered if you’re involved in a collision.   A must-have should the driver at fault has little or “no” insurance.  The minimum insurance coverage in California is only $15,000 to obtain a driver’s license.  This does not cover much if you are transported by ambulance to the hospital with serious injuries.

This coverage is a must-have according to the Padilla Law Group. Please click on the following link for a clear explanation of the importance of this insurance coverage.

UM Handout

Thank you to the Padilla Law Group for providing this valuable information.






Please Note:  The following is a link to a news story reported on November 14, 2019.  It’s regarding a man who was seriously injured by a driver who had the minimum insurance coverage of $15-thousand.  His medical bills were almost $100-thousand.  If he had the above coverage, his bills would have been taken care of, if not lower.  At least $1-million coverage is recommended.

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Medical Examiner’s Report Shows Traffic Collisions Are High on the List!

Posted on 23 September 2019 by Monica Zech

Straight from the Office of the Medical Examiner’s Office in San Diego County, a report on what’s killing us in our County.  The hard facts…

Medical Examiner: Drugs, Falls, Cars, Suicides Lead Death Investigations

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Latest News From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Monica Zech

See the latest news from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

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The Real-Life Dangers of Texting and Driving!

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