The Ceres Police Department has been awarded a $85,281 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long program of special enforcements and public awareness efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries.
The funding will be used to help keep roads safe and improve the quality of life through both enforcement and education.
"The Ceres Police Department aggressively enforces California DUI laws," said Acting Police Chief Brent Smith. "With the relaxed laws concerning the use of marijuana, impaired driving due to drug use is on the rise. Additionally, distracted drivers, using cell phones are a growing concern."
According to the latest government statistics, 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver in 2012 in the United States. After falling dramatically between 2006 and 2010, the number of persons killed and injured in traffic collisions posted slight increases in 2011 and 2012.
"Particularly worrisome are recent increases in pedestrian and motorcycle fatalities and the dangers of distracting technologies," said Smith. "This grant funding will provide opportunities to combat these and other devastating problems such as drunk and drugged driving and speeding."
"California's roadways are still among the safest in the nation," said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. "But to meet future mobility, safety, and sustainability objectives, we must create safer roadways for all users. The Ceres Police Department will be using these and other resources to reach the vision we all share - Toward zero deaths, every one counts."
Activities that the grant will fund include:
• Bicycle, Pedestrian and other educational presentations
• DUI checkpoints
• DUI saturation patrols
• Distracted driving enforcement
• Seat belt and child safety seat enforcement
• Bicycle and pedestrian enforcement and education
• Speed, red light, and stop sign enforcement
• Warrant service operations targeting multiple DUI offenders
• Compilation of DUI "Hot Sheets," identifying worst-of-the-worst DUI offenders
• Specialized DUI and drugged driving training such as Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST), Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), and Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE).
Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.