The Marana Police Department emphasizes innovation in all phases of their operation. From having the latest technology to community policing and utilizing social media to connect with residents, Marana police officers strives to be ahead of the curve.
Streaming live to an online audience, MPD Traffic Officer Bradley Clifford performed a simulated traffic stop where he helped educate the driver on the dangers of distracted driving. The Marana Police Department believes that education is the main objective when conducting a traffic stop, and have altered their philosophy regarding pulling drivers over. Since 2011, the department has pulled over more drivers, but issued less citations. The goal is to make interactions with the police a positive experience, as well as an opportunity to convey safety information to the drivers.
“This is about education,” said Marana Police Department Public Information Officer Chriswell Scott. “We are not here to jam people up with tickets. We are here to educate and get everyone to where they are going safely.”
Tucson News Now was also on-site to capture behind-the-scenes footage of the PSA. After one rehearsal to establish the logistics of the simulated traffic stop, the PSA went Facebook Live.
A key part of the campaign is educating the public that distracted driving is more than just using your cell phone or playing with the radio. Many other aspects of daily life can distract someone from the road.
“We commonly think of distracted driving as talking on the phone or texting, but it can be other things like eating in the car or thinking about a work meeting that you have and not focusing on the road,” Scott explained.
“Our lives distract us a lot,” said MPD Traffic Officer Bradley Clifford. “Our lives are very busy and our minds probably distract us more than anything else. When you get behind the wheel, please focus on safe driving habits.”
The Town has not seen an increase in accidents due to distracted driving, but Marana Police Department wants to make sure their residents remain safe. It is all part of the department’s strategy to be proactive and working with the community to enhance public safety.
Officer Clifford spoke with Tucson News Now following filming of the PSA and had some more good information on distracted driving: