Oceanside Police Department has been awarded a $350,000.00 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.
Oceanside Police Chief McCoy stated, “Our community has seen far too many fatal traffic collisions in 2016 and 2017. Many could have been prevented by motorists slowing down, driving defensively, and avoiding the mixing of alcohol and motor vehicle operation. The Oceanside Police Department is grateful to receive this OTS grant to continue funding our safe driving initiatives. We also ask for the assistance of the public in helping to keep our roadways safe by avoiding risky behaviors while operating motor vehicles such as speeding, engaging aggressive maneuvers, and driving while intoxicated.”
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 to community members on distracted driving, DUI, speed, motorcycle safety, and bicycle/pedestrian safety.
• Patrols at intersections with increased incidents of pedestrian and bike collisions.
• Motorcycle safety operations in areas with high rider volume and where higher rate of motorcycle crashes occur.
• Speeding, red light and stop sign enforcement.
• Distracted Driving enforcement targeting drivers using hand held cell phones and texting.
• Compilation of DUI “Hot Sheets” identifying repeat 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.