Saturday, March 24 , 2018, 9:14 am | Fair 46º


Buellton’s Traffic Enforcement Program Earns State Honors

Police efforts contribute to a 48 percent drop in collisions on Highway 246

The California Law Enforcement Challenge has named Buellton’s traffic enforcement program the best in the state for 2009.

The equivalent of seven Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies make up the department, which took the top prize in the category for departments with up to 25 police officers. Competition entries are judged on officer training, policies and procedures, public information, recognition programs, enforcement efforts and results.

“The City of Buellton recognized that the main complaint of residents was excessive speed on Highway 246,” Lt. Julie McCammon said. “They invested in a traffic deputy, to enforce the speed limits.

“With that enforcement, the average speed has dropped 8 mph in the 35 mph zones and 11 mph in the 45 mph zones. People are actually driving under the speed limit now. Collisions in the city have also dropped 48 percent in the last five years. That is an excellent return on the city’s investment, and the competition recognized that.”

The California Law Enforcement Challenge is a competition between similar sizes and types of law enforcement agencies that recognizes and rewards the best overall traffic safety programs in the state.

The areas of concentration include efforts to enforce laws and educate the public about occupant protection, impaired driving and speeding. The winning safety programs are those that combine officer training, public information and enforcement to reduce crashes and injuries within its jurisdiction.

— Drew Sugars is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

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