The Crescenta Valley Station has joined other LASD Stations and other police agencies in being proactive regarding dangerous driving. Crescenta Valley Station has implemented the “Sheriff’s Teen Traffic Offender Program”, “STTOP. The STTOP program is an innovative intervention program developed by the Lost Hills/Malibu Station to educate young drivers and their parents. It is reckless behavior and other bad driving practices that STTOP hopes to correct. The program is designed to intervene when a young driver displays poor judgment or dangerous driving behavior. STTOP encourages citizens to call in and report dangerous teen drivers. Too many times, patrol officers are not present to see the dangerous driving. The inability to catch the offender in the act ties the hands of law enforcement, which cannot act on a Vehicle Code infraction they do not witness. Often the youthful driver screeches his tires, races another car or does other dangerous maneuvers, and then vanishes before the patrol units can arrive.
Concerned citizens are encouraged to call a designated phone number and report dangerous drivers. The STTOP program does not dispatch an immediate police response and if an immediate police response is needed, then the reporting party should call 9-1-1 as with any other emergency. STTOP will take the information about the driver, his vehicle, and the dangerous driving behavior and a representative from Crescenta Valley Station will contact the offender. After locating the driver, intervention is conducted with the driver, and his parents in order to correct the dangerous behavior. The intervention can include anything from a brief discussion to the parents revoking the teen’s driving privileges. The program’s purpose is not to prosecute, but to correct and educate the offender and his parents. The goal of the STTOP program is to make teens better, safer drivers, which in turn benefits all drivers on the roadway.
The STTOP program is an additional tool for Station personnel to be proactive within the communities we serve. If a call is received about a dangerous driver in any of the communities that the Crescenta Valley Station serves and the driver and or vehicle are no longer in the area, the caller can be referred to the STTOP phone number or web site to report the driver. However, if the driver is driving dangerously and is still in the area, a patrol car should be dispatched as normal. If the handling deputy is unable to locate the vehicle, the information from the call can be forwarded to the STTOP coordinators who will conduct follow up.