The Petaluma Police Departments Traffic Unit will be conducting extra enforcement in the area of Lakeville Highway from Caulfield Lane to South McDowell Extension. From April 11 to 18 the Petaluma Police Department responded to 10 traffic collisions with three of those involving injuries. A total of nine people were injured in those collisions, the police department said in a statement.
Two of the collisions accounted for seven of the injuries and both occurred on Monday April 17. The first occurred at 11:48 a.m. at the intersection of Lakeville Highway and the Highway 101 off-ramp when the driver of a Toyota Celica drove through a red light after exiting from Highway 101 onto Lakeville Highway. The driver of the Toyota, a 31 year old female from Petaluma, broadsided a Ford Flex Utility Vehicle causing the Ford to roll three times before coming to a stop on Lakeville Highway.
The driver of the Ford, a 31 year old female from Rohnert Park, and her 3-year-old and 1-year-old children, sustained minor injuries in the collision, however no one was seriously injured. The driver of the Toyota believed they may have had brake failure which caused them to not be able to stop. Officers at the scene checked the brakes after the collision and there appeared to be something potentially malfunctioning with the brakes.
The other collision occurred on Monday at 2:56 p.m. on North McDowell Boulevard in front of the Post Office. The driver of a Ford Explorer, a 72-year-old male from Petaluma, accelerated into traffic which was stopped at a red traffic signal at the intersection of North McDowell Boulevard and Corona Road. The Explorer hit three vehicles causing one of the vehicles to be flipped onto its side. Three people received minor to moderate injuries.
The Petaluma Police Department also wants to advise drivers April is National Distracted Driving month. Drivers need to be aware it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while holding a cellular device. Effective Jan. 1, 2017 holding the cellular device in a drivers hand is illegal unless the driver is calling 9-1-1 to report an emergency.
Anyone witnessing unsafe driving or who would like to report specific areas of the city that might require extra enforcement are encouraged to call the Petaluma Police Department traffic Hotline at 776-3775.