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The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) has been awarded a $250,000.00 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) 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 laws or practicing other unsafe behaviors that lead to injuries and fatalities.

“We are thankful for the continued support from the California Office of Traffic Safety.”, said Police Chief Cynthia Renaud. “The grant will allow us to provide traffic education, enforcement and work towards mobility solutions in Santa Monica”

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.

  • Traffic safety education presentations for youth and community members on distracted, impaired and teen driving, and bicycle/pedestrian safety.
  • Patrols at intersections with increased incidents of pedestrian and bike collisions.
  • Checking for seat belt and child safety seat compliance.
  • Motorcycle safety operations in areas with high rider volume and where higher rate of motorcycle crashes occur.
  • Speeding, red light and stop sign enforcement.
  • Compilation of DUI “Hot Sheets” identifying repeat DUI offenders
  • Specialized DUI and drugged driving training to identify and apprehend suspected impaired drivers.
  • Conduct Know Your Limit campaigns with an effort to reach members of the community.

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.

Submitted by Lieutenant Saul Rodriguez

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