The Petaluma Police Departments Traffic Unit will be conducting a Distracted Driving enforcement operation on Friday, April 28. Officers will be looking for drivers who are texting, talking on or using the phone for any reasons that are not hands free. As of January 1, 2017 it is illegal to operate a cellular device which is not hands free unless the person is using the cellular device to call for emergency services such as police, a fire department or other emergency services.

From April 18 to April 25 the Petaluma police Dept. responded to 16 traffic collisions with only two of those involving injuries. None of these injuries were serious. One collision occurred in the Plaza South Shopping Center on Friday April 21 at 6:13pm when a grey Honda Passport was witnessed colliding with 2 parked vehicles in the parking lot. The Honda Passport was seen turning N/B onto North McDowell Blvd. the Passport was located by Petaluma Officers as it turned onto South Point Blvd. from North McDowell Blvd. The Passport was stopped and the driver was contacted by officers and identified as Brenda Rossi a 57 year old female form Petaluma. Initially Rossi said she had not been involved in a collision however her vehicle was identified as the vehicle involved and also had damage.

Rossi showed signs of being under the influence of alcohol including watery eyes, unsteady balance and a strong odor of alcohol. Officers learned Rossi was on probation from a prior DUI arrest and was required to submit to chemical tests. Rossi refused to perform Field Sobriety Tests and would not perform a breath test while at the scene of the traffic stop. Rossi was placed under arrest for DUI, Driving on a Suspended License and Violation of Probation. Rossi’s vehicle was impounded for 30 days based on her license being suspended. Rossi was taken to Petaluma valley Hospital where she consented to a blood draw and later transported to the Sonoma County Jail.

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 707-776-3775. As always if there is a need for immediate police response please call 9-1-1.