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     What is the STTOP program?

STTOP is an innovative law enforcement intervention program originally developed by the Lost Hills/Malibu Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  The intent of the program is to educate drivers of any age who display bad judgment and dangerous driving habits on the need to correct such behaviors.

Why was the STTOP program originally established?

STTOP is an acronym that refers to the “Sheriff’s Teen Traffic Offender Program” which was conceived in the 1990’s.  The program was originally designed to allow deputies an opportunity to intervene when a young driver displaying poor driving habits was identified and reported to the Lost Hills/Malibu Station by a citizen. 

How does the STTOP program work?

The cornerstone of the STTOP program is its reliance on community and resident involvement and participation.  Here’s how the program works.  The STTOP deputy at the Lost Hills/Malibu Station will gladly receive information from residents who see unsafe driving in the community.  Typically, a resident who witnesses speeding or some other unsafe driving practice is asked to contact the Lost Hills/Malibu Station to report the incident.  After identifying the registered owner of the vehicle involved in the incident, the Lost Hills/Malibu Station will send a letter requesting that the owner of the vehicle call the STTOP deputy to address the issue.  For egregious violations and/or repeat offenders, the STTOP deputy will determine where the driver resides resulting in an unannounced visit to the residence for the purpose of meeting with the individual.  In the case of a driver who is a teen or young adult, such meetings will include the parents.  The meeting is essentially an intervention with the driver and, if applicable, his/her parents, to discuss the need to correct offending driving.

How do I report an unsafe driver to the STTOP program?

There are two ways to report unsafe driving to the STTOP program.  Either call the Lost Hills Station at 1-877-310-7867 (recording) to report an incident, or send information on the incident electronically to the STTOP program by clicking the following link:

Is the City of Westlake Village supportive of the STTOP program?

Absolutely!  Since the program’s inception the City of Westlake Village which contracts with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for its law enforcement services has been a strong proponent as it has consistently funded a deputy dedicated to the program.   City officials firmly believe the STTOP program represents an excellent opportunity to involve residents in a constructive and positive way in helping improve overall traffic safety in the community through a partnership with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the City.  

Does the STTOP program address unsafe driving by adults as well as teens?

Yes.  While the program was originally developed to deal with young drivers, it has evolved over time to also address adult drivers who display unsafe driving habits.

What are some examples of unsafe driving that I can report to the Lost Hills/Malibu Station?

Residents are encouraged to report any unsafe driving that may be observed in our community including, but not limited to, speeding, unsafe lane changes, red light or stop sign violations, texting on a cell phone while driving, inattentiveness, failure to keep a safe distance while following another vehicle, etc. 

What information should I report when I contact the STTOP program?

Try to report as much information as possible surrounding the incident.   While circumstances may limit one’s ability to obtain all the details involving an unsafe driving incident, the following represents an ideal set of items to report, if possible:  the vehicle make, model, year, color and the license plate number coupled with the date, time, location, and nature of the incident and description of the driver. 

Again, the above represents the ideal information to report.  However, the STTOP deputy understands that obtaining such details may prove to be challenging even under the best of circumstances.  Nonetheless, any information you can report will be carefully evaluated by the STTOP deputy.  For example, if you observe a pattern of unsafe driving, such as speeding by the same driver at a particular time each day in your neighborhood, this information will be very useful to the STTOP deputy.  The bottom line is this: the STTOP deputy wants to hear from you concerning whatever information you can report when it comes to unsafe driving in our community. 

Is the information I submit to the STTOP Program confidential, including my name?

Yes.  The information you report to the STTOP deputy, including your name, will be kept confidential. 

Is it ever a good idea to personally confront an unsafe driver?

No. The STTOP program is meant to serve as a means to report unsafe driving to law enforcement, and it is not a program that encourages confrontation between or among citizens.  The Lost Hills/Malibu Station provides public safety services to our community, and it is responsible for dealing with unsafe drivers.   

If I report information regarding dangerous driving to the STTOP Program, does it result in a ticket being issued by a Sheriff’s deputy?

No. Unless the traffic offense is actually observed by a Sheriff’s deputy, the California Vehicle Code does not allow for the issuance of a ticket.  However, the impact of the follow up contact by a STTOP deputy with a driver who has been identified through the STTOP program can potentially have a significant impact in correcting that individual’s future driving habits.

Is it appropriate to report information concerning unsafe drivers on other websites?

The decision to report information regarding unsafe drivers on other independent websites is entirely up to you; but, to do so could lead to unintended consequences and/or potential confrontations.  Additionally, if the information is not reported directly to the STTOP program, the STTOP deputy will not be informed of the incident and will therefore not be in a position to respond to the matter. 

If I’m interested in improving traffic safety in my neighborhood, where should I turn for assistance?

There are several entities you may wish to contact to address and discuss ways of improving traffic safety in your neighborhood.  They include your local homeowner’s association, the City of Westlake Village’s Traffic Engineer (1-818-706-1613), and the Lost Hills/Malibu Station’s traffic division (1-818-878-1808).  

If I have further questions about the STTOP program, who should I contact?

Questions regarding the STTOP program should be directed to STTOP deputy at the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station (1-818-878-1808).