Rohnert Park/Cotati correspondent Nick Walden reports that the Rohnert Park Traffic Team will provide increased protection around local schools.

The Sonoma County Combined Intensive Traffic Enforcement team managed by the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety will be out in force  Jan. 22, around the neighborhood schools in Rohnert Park. Drivers should expect to see two to three traffic officers around the schools focused on distracted drivers and school zone violations. The team will consist of officers from Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Windsor and Sebastopol.

“Drivers still believe they can drive and text or have the ability to talk and drive. What they do not understand is another component of distracted driving is the Cognitive Distraction. If the driver is focused on their conversation, they are not focused on being a defensive driver and are dangerous to have on the roadway,” said Sgt. Johnson, who oversees the department’s traffic unit.

This team was modeled after Livermore Police Department’s CITE program, which has been effective in lowering injury collisions in and around Alameda County. “The goal of any traffic unit is to first and foremost make the roadways safer by reducing injury collisions. We use education, engineering and enforcement to achieve these goals,” stated Sgt. Johnson. “Tomorrow’s event is a collective effort between allied agencies to enforce the rules of the road and in doing so, educate those drivers as to the dangers of their driving behavior.”