The Pacifica Police Department was recently awarded two grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to aid in the city’s ongoing effort to enforce anti-DUI program with checkpoints and to improve traffic safety and the quality of life.
The first grant, in the amount of $49,170, is for a year-long program aimed at dealing with traffic safety problems to reduce traffic collisions and prevent deaths and injuries on Pacifica roadways through special enforcement and public awareness efforts.
“The Pacifica Police Department has a long-standing, collaborative relationship with OTS," said Pacifica Police Chief Tasa. "Utilizing these grant funds, the department will supplement our traffic enforcement efforts with the goal of reducing the number of persons injured or killed in traffic collisions in Pacifica."
While traffic deaths from all causes declined by nearly 39 percent between 2006 and 2010 in California, but rose by 2.6 percent in 2011, according to OTS. State and federal officials anticipate that figures will show another rise for 2012. DUI deaths remain the largest sector, at nearly 30 percent of traffic fatalities. Recent trends show increases in two new categories – distracted driving and drug-impaired driving.
Activities that the grant will fund include:
Specialized DUI and drugged driving training such as Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST), Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), and Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE). It will also fund motorcycle safety enforcement, distracted driving enforcement, speed and red light and stop sign enforcement, and warrant service operations targeting multiple DUI offenders.
The second grant awarded is for $18,320, which will be used to fund an anti- DUI program also aimed at preventing deaths and injuries on Pacifica roadways.
“Collisions where drivers are intoxicated from alcohol or drug consumption continue to be a problem," said Tasa. "In collaboration with the California Office of Traffic Safety, the Pacifica Police Department will continue to make DUI enforcement a priority in effort to prevent DUI related collisions and the tragic consequences that often follow.”
The special DUI Checkpoint grant is to assist in efforts to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol and other drug related collisions in the community. The grant activities will specifically target impaired driving offenders as well as educating the public on the dangers of impaired driving through the use of DUI/driver’s license checkpoints. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving.
Drunk and drugged driving are among America’s deadliest crimes, according to police. In 2011, a modern day low of 774 people were killed and over 24,000 injured in alcohol and drug-impaired crashes in California. The most recent California Office of Traffic Safety statistics reflect that Pacifica ranks in the top third out of 93 similar sized cities for the highest number of alcohol involved collisions. Crashes involving alcohol have been shown to drop by up to 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough. Checkpoints have proven to be the most effective of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent and are supported by nearly 90 percent of California drivers.