Residents pledge to create safer South Jordan
The 4S Pledge encourages residents to slow down, stop at stop signs, wear seatbelt and stay off phone while driving. Anyone 16 years and older is encouraged to sign online. (Tina Brown/South Jordan City)
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By Briana Kelley | firstname.lastname@example.org
The South Jordan Police Department and South Jordan City officials recently launched the Safer South Jordan Pledge or 4S Pledge. The campaign, which began in March, aims to educate residents on four ways they can make the city safer. Residents 16 years and up can take the pledge and receive a prize.
“As a police department, we’re responsible for a lot of things, and one of those things is traffic,” Chief of Police Jeff Carr said. “Since I’ve been here, I have had more complaints about traffic than any other thing. Mostly people are concerned about speeding in their neighborhoods, people not stopping for stop signs, those types of things.”
The campaign focuses on traffic safety and gives drivers four things that they can personally do to create safer roads. Residents who sign the pledge promise to do four things:
1. Slow down and observe the speed limit.
2. Stop at all stop signs and stop lights.
3. Wear their seatbelt.
4. Stay off their phone.
“The idea here is to really get everybody to think about their driving habits,” Carr said. “That’s really what it’s about. If you sign the pledge, you’re more willing to personally commit to really try to pay attention to the speed, to stop running that stop sign and, the really big one, to stay off your phone.”
The city generally addresses traffic problems in three ways—engineering, enforcement and education. The city is primarily responsible for engineering and maintains roads, streetlights, traffic signals and street signs. The city also conducts traffic studies when needed.
Primarily, the police department carries out enforcement. Officers issue speeding tickets and participate in traffic calming measures. Residents can report traffic violations and request extra patrol or speed trailers online.
Education occurs with residents, and Carr saw this as an area that could be improved. As part of community outreach, Carr has attended multiple community meetings and forums. During these meetings, residents most often bring up traffic concerns, particularly speeding, phone use and failure to slow and stop.
In a recent Daybreak community meeting, Carr was approached by a resident who asked, “What can I do? How can I help?” Carr realized that all residents could have a greater personal awareness for their driving actions. With this in mind, Carr began working on the pledge.
“I just started thinking, we need each and every resident to do their part,” Carr said. “I hope it’s not naive. I really believe our community will latch onto this concept and say ‘yes, we believe that we’re going to do what we say we’re going to do.’ So, if you sign the pledge, you may be a little more conscientious with your driving. That’s where we’re going with this.”
Many city officials and city employees have already taken the pledge. Mayor David Alvord and Council members Patrick Harris, Brad Marlor, Don Shelton, Tamara Zander and Chris Rogers all signed after the March 7 city council meeting.
Public Information Officer Tina Brown is reaching out through social media and the city’s newsletter “Focus” to let residents know about the pledge. School resource officers are also informing high school students about the pledge.
Anyone 16 years and older is encouraged to sign the pledge, found online on the South Jordan City Police Department’s webpage. The campaign is not limited to residents. Those who commute through or come to South Jordan are also encouraged to sign.
“One employee approached me and said, ‘I signed the pledge, and I was later driving and I realized something and it made me think,’” Carr said. “That’s the whole idea. It’s just maybe to make you think about your driving habits and become just a little bit better. If you stay off that phone for just that minute when an accident could have occurred and it doesn’t occur, hopefully we’ve made a positive change.”