South San Francisco, Ca October 3, 2018 Submitted by SSFPD
South San Francisco Police Department has been awarded an $80,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety COTS) for a year-long enforcement and public awareness program. The traffic safety program is intended to educate the public on safe roadway habits and deter people from violating traffic la1 s or practicing other unsafe behaviors that lead to injuries and fatalities.
Police Chief Jeff Azzopardi said, “This marks the eleventh consecutive year of our partnership with the Office of Traffic Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
During this partnership, as a direct result of the grant-funded operations, we have arrested and removed 153 intoxicated and impaired drivers from our roadways. We have also made 105 criminal arrests for other offenses during the grant-funded operations. In addition to the arrests, 842 drivers who were unlicensed or driving with a suspended license were issued citations and in some cases, had their vehicles towed.”
“When comparing the two years before we began working with the Office of Traffic Safety to the last ten years when wi ehave worked with them , we have seen a 40 percent reduction in fatality traffic collisions, la 19 percent reduction in alcohol-related injury traffic collisions, and a 36 percent reduction in speed-related injury collisions”, stated Chief Azzopardi.
The grant from OTS will fund various education and enforcement activities for the 2019 federal fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2019):
- DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols to take suspected alcohol/drug-impaired drivers – and those unlicensed or with a revoked/suspended license – off the road.
- Patrols at intersections with increased incidents of pedestrian and bike
- Checking for seat belt and child safety seat compliance.
- Motorcycle safety operations in areas with high rider volume and where higher rate of motorcycle crash’s
- Speeding, red light and stop sign enforcement.
- Distracted driver and cellphone violation enforcement
- Compilation of DUI “Hot Sheets” identifying repeat DUI offenders
- Probation checks for high-risk DUI offenders.
- Specialized DUI and drugged driving training to identify and apprehend suspected impaired drivers.
In 2016, 3,623 people were killed in crashes across the state, a 7 percent increase from 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Particularly alarming is the rise in pedestrian deaths, with 867 pedestrians killed on California roadways in 2016, a nearly 33 percent increase from 2012. Along with the growing dangers of distracting technologies like phones and drug-impaired driving, this grant funding will provide opportunities to combat these dangerous and illegal behaviors.
“Almost all crashes are preventable,” OTS director Rhonda Craft said. “Education and enforcement go hand in hand helping change behaviors that cause devastating crashes.”
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.