GPD Seeking help in Two Separate Hit and Run Accidents

The names of the two women who were hit while crossing the street in Glendale have been released. Serpouhi Gharapetian, 74, and Bekzad Shahbazian, 69, were crossing at the intersection of California and Central avenues when they were struck by a vehicle. The vehicle, described by witnesses is a white or light gray colored compact to mid-size 4-door. The vehicle fled the location without stopping southbound on Central Avenue.Both women were treated by Glendale Fire Department Paramedics and transported to L.A. County Hospital.

This hit and run accident follows another that occurred on Wednesday, October 2nd at about 4:22 p.m. In the Wednesday accident, Leleh Issakhanian, 75,  was struck as she exited her vehicle. The car that struck her was described as a white utility van and was last seen traveling eastbound on Glenoaks from Western. The driver did not stop after hitting the woman.

The Glendale Police Department is seeking the public’s help in providing any information that may assist in the identification of drivers in either of these hit and runs. Individuals with information are urged to call 818-548-4911.

In a continuing effort to save lives and prevent injuries on our city streets, the city of Glendale and its Police Department is expanding their Traffic Safety Program. This program and special operations are a commitment to keeping our roadways safe through both enforcement and education.

The city of Glendale continues to have an unacceptable number of automobile / pedestrian traffic collisions. Speeding, reckless driving, and distracted driving are significant problems that endanger the drivers and pedestrians of our city. Our enforcement campaign will focus on educating pedestrians and drivers about pedestrian safety and distracted driving in and around high collision areas. Pedestrian safety literature has been produced and is being disseminated. Electronic message boards have been placed southbound on Brand Blvd. at the 134 freeway, southbound on Central Ave. between Broadway and Wilson, and northbound on Brand Blvd. between San Fernando and Cerritos Ave. informing drivers to yield to pedestrians and all violations will be enforced. Targeted enforcement operations will focus on jaywalking, speeding, red light running, distracted driving, and other primary collision factors at or near intersections in the city of Glendale.

“The City of Glendale takes a very proactive approach towards traffic enforcement and public safety in order to ensure a safe environment for everyone who lives, works, or visits our community,” said Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa.

Approximately 80 percent of vehicles crashes now involve some sort type of driver inattention. Nationwide, 6,000 people are killed annually in accidents where driver distractions have occurred. In response to accidents resulting from distracted driving in our community, the City of Glendale has launched the new Driven 2 Distraction andLook 2 Live campaigns. The hard-hitting driver and pedestrian outreach and education crusade is aimed at reducing the number of pedestrian-involved incidents in our City.

Structured in conjunction with our enforcement and engineering efforts, the Driven 2 Distraction education campaign targets drivers, reminding them that texting, applying make-up, changing a CD, or disciplining children in the back seat while driving are not worth a life that could be lost from driver distraction.

Similarly, the Look 2 Live campaign is reaching out to pedestrians, reminding them to remain vigilant while crossing the street, even in a crosswalk, where they should always Look 2 Live.”

Both campaigns will be available in several languages so as to communicate with Glendale’s diverse population of residents. It is our goal to bring home the message that staying focused while behind the wheel or crossing the street will save lives.

The facts about distracted driving:

  • 80 percent of vehicle crashes involve some sort of driver inattention.
  • Up to 6,000 people nationwide are killed in crashes where driver distractions are involved.
  • Talking on a cell phone or texting is the number one source of driver distractions.
  • Texting takes your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds, far enough to travel the length of a football field at 55 mph. Most crashes happen with less than 3 seconds reaction time.
  • Distracted driving is anything that takes your eyes or mind off the road or your hands off the steering wheel – especially texting and cell phone use, whether hands-free or handheld. Who’s doing it? Most of us. It has been estimated that, at any one time, over 10 percent of drivers are using a mobile device.
  • A ticket for $145 for texting or talking on a cell phone is a major distraction to your wallet.

What can you do? Most important, obey the law. It’s there for a reason. Also, do your best to eliminate distractions:

  • Never text and drive.
  • Turn off your phone when you get behind the wheel.
  • Don’t text or call someone when you know they are likely to be driving.
  • Make a pact with your family, spouse, and caregivers never to use the phone with kids in the car.
  • No eating or drinking while driving.
  • Don’t program your GPS, MP3 player or other devices while driving.
  • Pull over and stop to read maps.
  • No grooming.
  • No reading.
  • No watching videos.
  • Try not to get too involved with passengers.
  • If something falls to the floor, pull over before trying to reach it.

For more information on how to work with your Police Department’s Area Commanders, Community Lead Officers and Traffic Enforcement Officers in your neighborhoods, please go to Area Command.