I am frequently sent Press Releases from various organizations to publish in the San Ramon Express. My Editors and reporters are sent them too. When I was writing my San Ramon Observer website I would always identify a Press Release as a Press Release and not pretend I wrote it.
I often see PR pieces in newspapers or blogs with a by line or "Staff Report." I don't do that. I believe readers deserve to know if an organization is sending out information they want the public to know.
I received two Press Releases this week. One from the Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) about their recycled water program and another from the San Ramon Police Department.
The DSRSD piece is about using recycled water for construction projects to save drinking water. "The Dublin San Ramon Services District requires contractors to use recycled water instead of potable water for construction activities like dust control, grading and compaction."
Additional details are provided on how to apply for a "recycled water construction meter" or "a permit to fill water trucks." Contact Ryan Prendergraft at 925-875-2242 to apply for a meter or Ann Ciliuti at 925-875-2334 to schedule an appointment to fill a water truck.
The Press Release from the San Ramon Police Department is on "National Distracted Driving Awareness Month."
"During the month of April, the San Ramon Police Department, in cooperation with the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and the U.S. Department of Transportation will be cracking down on Distracted Driving. This month patrol and traffic officers will be focusing their efforts on distracted driving. As part of our OTS grant, the San Ramon Police Department will have additional personnel on the street specifically looking for distracted drivers. Distracted Driving is a serious problem both nationally and locally."
It's about time the San Ramon Police paid more attention to distracted drivers. My accident in January, 2013 was caused by a kid (18 years old) running the red light at the intersection of Bollinger Canyon Road and Alcosta while looking for his cell phone which he dropped on the floor of his SUV.
"Talking on a cell phone or texting is the number one source of driver distractions," according to the Press Release. So why is cracking down on distracted drivers only for the month of April? Our police should be watching for the un-watching all of the time.
I'm fully recovered from the accident, but I'm still a little bitter about it. I wasn't "distracted" by using or losing a cell phone on the floor of my car, but I wasn't as alert to the traffic around me as I should have been. After the light on Alcosta turned green, I blithely drove into the intersection without looking to see if anyone was coming from either side. Now I drive defensively just in case someone else isn't as careful about watching where they are going.