New funds will facilitate better education and enforcement on traffic safety
■ Hemet Police Department / Contributed
The Hemet Police Department has been awarded a $130,000 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.
The grant from OTS will fund various education and enforcement activities for the 2019 federal fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2019) such as:
• 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.
In 2016 there were 3,623 people killed in crashes across the state, a seven percent increase from 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. What is 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.”
Chief of Police Rob Webb said “we understand that traffic safety is a priority for our citizens and this grant will help the Hemet Police Department increase traffic safety through additional enforcement and education.”
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.