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Thursday, February 21 , 2019, 2:53 am | Fair 45º

 
 
 
 

Santa Barbara Police Grant Targets Prevention of Traffic Deaths

The Santa Barbara Police Department has been awarded a $250,000 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 Police Department will use the funding as part of the city's ongoing commitment to keep roadways safe and improve the quality of life through enforcement and education.

Chief Lori Luhnow said, "The safety of our motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians are a top priority for the Santa Barbara Police Department. We are pleased to continue our relationship with the California Office of Traffic Safety to keep our community safe.

"This grant will enhance our efforts to educate the public, reduce hazardous driving, and save lives."

After falling to a 10-year low in 2010, the number of people killed has climbed nearly 17 percent across the state with 3,176 killed in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Particularly alarming is the six-year rise in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities, along with the growing dangers of distracting technologies, and the emergence of drug-impaired driving as a major problem.

This grant funding will provide opportunities to combat these and other devastating problems such as drunk driving, speeding and crashes at intersections.

"Years of research tell us that enforcement and education work best jointly to combat unsafe driving," said Rhonda Craft, OTS director.

"This grant brings both tactics together, with the Office of Traffic Safety and the Santa Barbara Police Department working in concert to help keep the streets and highways safe across Santa Barbara and the state," she said.

Activities the grant will fund include:
     Educational presentations
     DUI checkpoints
     DUI saturation patrols
     Bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement
     Motorcycle safety enforcement
     Distracted driving enforcement
     Seat belt and child safety seat enforcement
     Speed, red light, and stop sign enforcement
     Warrant service operations targeting multiple DUI offenders
     Know Your Limit
     Compilation of DUI "Hot Sheets," identifying worst-of-the-worst DUI offenders
     Specialized DUI and drugged driving training such as Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement, and Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE)
     Stakeout operations to observe the "worst-of-the-worst" repeat DUI offender probationers with suspended or revoked driver licenses

Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

— Riley Harwood for Santa Barbara Police Department.

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