Coalition launches campaign against distracted driving

  • Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane helps unveil a billboard campaign aimed at protecting pedestrians and bicyclists from distracted drivers, at Petaluma Valley Hospital, in Petaluma on Monday, March 25, 2013.

    (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

For more than a year a countywide task force trying to combat the problem of pedestrians and bicyclists killed by distracted drivers has looked for ways to broadcast its message.

Its latest effort can be seen along Highway 101 south of Petaluma on a billboard that went up March 18 with the message: Park the phone while you drive.

The Sonoma County Safe Streets Coalition has gotten free bumper stickers, bus, radio and newspaper ads and now the billboard donated for two months by St. Joseph Health.

The goal is to try and get drivers, walkers and riders to pay more attention and reduce the number of deaths and injuries.

About 30 people, most of them coalition members, gathered Monday morning at Petaluma Valley Hospital, a St. Joseph Health facility. They marked what Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane called a productive partnership between public and private agencies, businesses and nonprofits in the publicity effort.

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