Community members drive to create safer streets

As drivers take their position behind the wheel, they carry the responsibility of everyone’s safety. Precautionary measures in the streets such as speed bumps and stop signs are set in place to reduce the risk of automobile accidents, some of which occured in local areas in the past couple of years. According to VC Star, within a 12 hour time span on Sept. 1, 2021, three fatal crashes occurred on the local roads of nearby cities including Hillcrest Drive. On Feb. 26, 2022, Matt Wennertstrom, a hero of the Borderline Shooting, died in a motorcycle accident on the W. Lynn Road and E. Kelley Road intersection in Newbury Park.

Children are often seen playing on the streets, however, for some parents such as Samantha Carnell, a Newbury Park resident, her concern about road safety limits the comfort she has with her son playing near or on the street. “I notice a lot of people driving very quickly down the street and it bothers me because he’s outside playing in the front yard,” Carnell said.

Newbury Park is home to countless bikers who can frequently be seen riding the streets. Safety protocols such as bike lanes and street crossings can help aid bikers. Eric Gerald, an avid biker in Newbury Park, believes Reino Road poses risks for biker safety. “It is quite a narrow road and there have been a few instances of accidents where people are going through that channel way too fast and they lose control. Stop signs would slow down the traffic and make bikers more visible, and also it would probably reduce the number of accidents,” Gerald said.

According to Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, distracted driving reigns as the top contender for car accidents. Alpa Devgania, an 11 year resident of Newbury Park, feels that addressing the issues of distracted driving can leave a strong mark on road safety. “People always need to watch what they are doing. This rule goes for both pedestrians and drivers. If we follow this concept we would definitely have safer roads,” Devgania said.

Although distracted driving is top on the list, Carnell believes that it is not completely intentional. “I don’t think most people who speed are trying to hurt anyone. They’re just doing something that’s very habitual and so they’re just not paying attention. Any sort of cues that might make people pay attention seem like they would be helpful,” Carnell said.