- Tuesday November 15th, 2011 :: 07:42 a.m. PST
PETALUMA POLICE AWARDED TRAFFIC SAFETY GRANT Targeting Bicycle/Pedestrian/Motorcycle/DUI Collisions
For Immediate Release/Broadcast
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
PETALUMA POLICE AWARDED
TRAFFIC SAFETY GRANT
Targeting Bicycle/Pedestrian/Motorcycle/DUI Collisions
More traffic enforcement and safer streets are coming to Petaluma beginning this month thanks to a recent $356,000 grant awarded by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). Grant funds will purchase new equipment and fund overtime for increased special traffic enforcement measures for the Petaluma Police Department as law enforcement continues their commitment to keeping our roadways safe through both enforcement and education. The grant project runs through September 30, 2012.
“The California Office of Traffic Safety continues to support our mission of protecting life and property with continued grant funding helping our Department continue to reduce traffic collisions and preventing death and injuries on our city streets,” said Petaluma Police Chief Dan Fish. “Working together with OTS has allowed our Department to provide an effective Traffic Safety Program that has received statewide and national recognition for the last four years.”
The new grant was applied for to assist the Department in dealing with a variety of traffic safety problems with the goal of preventing persons from being killed and injured in traffic collisions. The grant activities will specifically target traffic safety areas including bicycles and pedestrians, motorcycle safety, unsafe speed, and DUI. The Department will continue its efforts to monitor habitual DUI offenders as well. DUI objectives will be accomplished through sobriety checkpoints, DUI warrant service operations, DUI probation and parole checks, stakeouts of habitual DUI offenders, and court stings targeting DUI offenders with suspended or revoked driver licenses who get behind the wheel after leaving court. The Department will begin an intensive public education and enforcement campaign targeting bicycle and pedestrian safety before initiating an aggressive enforcement plan. This project will also provide funding for a new traffic motorcycle officer for one year and a police motorcycle.
DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoints are a key component of the grant. These highly visible, widely publicized events are meant to deter impaired driving, not to increase arrests. Research shows that crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough. 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 yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent.
Motorcycle safety is again a high priority for the Department and the grant project. The enforcement of motorcycle safety and impaired riding will be a specific objective in this new grant. Motorcycle fatalities have finally dropped in California, following a decade long rise in deaths. In 2010, 353 motorcyclists were killed, a 37 percent drop from the all time high for California in 2008. Petaluma Police Officers will be conducting specialized enforcement efforts throughout the course of the next year. Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas frequented by motorcycles. Officers will be cracking down on traffic violations made by regular vehicle drivers and motorcyclists that result in far too many motorcycle collisions, injuries and deaths.
“Every driver and every motorcyclist must get back to the basics: drive sober, always drive or ride safely, buckle up, and we will save lives. It’s just that simple,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the Office of Traffic Safety. “This grant will help make Petaluma just that much safer of a place to live and work.”
Funding for this program is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Prepared By: Sergeant Ken Savano
Petaluma Police Department
Special Operations – Traffic Unit
Petaluma Police Department
969 Petaluma Blvd N
Petaluma, CA 94952