The Santa Monica Police Department’s Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on July 2, at an undisclosed location within city limits. The operation will take place between the hours of Thursday at 7 p.m. to Friday at 3 a.m.
Officials said the deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven factor in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol and/or drug related collisions. Research shows that accidents involving impaired drivers can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized, enforcement checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely.
Traffic Officers will be looking for objective signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment and verify that motorists are in possession of a valid driver’s license.
In California, impaired driving led to 802 fatalities, preventable by simply designating a driver. Alcohol and drug-impaired deaths still make up the largest category of overall vehicle fatalities in 2012 with 29 percent of all deaths caused by a drunk driver. A DUI checkpoint has been proven to be an effective method in lowering these numbers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints have provided the most effective, documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent.
SMPD will also step up bike and pedestrian safety enforcement on July 2 with focused enforcement on primary collision factors involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
The department maps out and identifies locations where pedestrian and bike collisions are prevalent, along with the violations that led to those collisions. Traffic officers will be on duty patrolling areas where bike and pedestrian traffic and collisions occur in an effort to lower deaths and injuries.
Officers will be looking for violations engaged in by drivers, bike riders and pedestrians alike that can lead to life changing injuries. Special attention will be directed toward drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks and similar dangerous violations.
Additionally, enforcement will be taken for observed violations when pedestrians cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Bike riders will be stopped and citations issued when they fail to follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists.
All riders are reminded to always wear a helmet; those under 18 years of age must wear helmets by law. Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or at corners.
Funding for these programs are provided by a grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.