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$100,000 Traffic Safety Grant Awarded to Vacaville Police

$100K Grant to Make Vacaville Roads Safer

The Vacaville Police Department (VPD) was recently awarded a $100,000 grant from the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). The OTS operates under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The VPD announced that the traffic safety grant monies will be used to roll out a program of services that are designed to deter illegal and dangerous driving behaviors that increase the risk of car accidents in the region.

Money For Enhanced Enforcement Measures

According to a press release by a VPD lieutenant, it appears that the bulk of the traffic safety grant monies will go toward additional enforcement measures. Officers will be on the lookout for speeding, driver impairment, and other reckless driving behaviors that jeopardize the safety of other travelers. The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of crashes that cause serious injuries and fatalities. The period of increased enforcement allowed by the grant monies will run through September 2022. 

Here are some examples of additional enforcement measures for which the grant monies will be used:

  • Increased DUI patrols and checkpoints that are specifically focused on suspected impaired motorists. 
  • Pedestrian and bicycle safety enforcement efforts that focus on motorist behaviors that increase risks to more vulnerable road users.
  • Enforcement efforts that focus on suspected distracted motorists that are violating the hands-free mobile phone law that is active in our state.
  • Increased enforcement efforts that focus on the primary violations that cause automobile collisions: excessive speed, failing to yield, red-light running, stop sign running, improper lane changing, and improper turning maneuvers.
  • Collaboration with neighboring patrol agencies with regard to these increased enforcement efforts.
  • Presentations focused on community education with regard to traffic safety issues such as driving under the influence, driving while distracted, speeding, and pedestrian and bicycle safety.
  • Training and/or recertification of patrol officers in the following programs:
    • Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST)
    • Drug Recognition Expert (DRE)
    • Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE)

Watch the YouTube video. The OTS puts out many public service videos. Below is one about sharing the road.

Does Increased Enforcement Make Roads Safer?

A Canadian study looked at data from 2003 to determine whether increased traffic enforcement efforts by police effectively deterred dangerous driving behaviors and improved road safety. One of the natural experiments they examined occurred when the traffic division of the Fresno Police Department grew suddenly from 20 officers to 84. This increase resulted in a significant intensification of traffic enforcement within Fresno. That increased enforcement coincided with a marked reduction in the per capita rate of car crashes, collisions that caused injuries, hospital admissions related to car crashes, and accident fatalities. Specifically, traffic fatalities related to speeding were significantly reduced by 67%. In regions surrounding Fresno County that did not have increased enforcement, these changes were not seen. Additionally, once the new officers were reassigned to other units, the gains made in traffic safety statistics evaporated.

The Canadian study also looked at another instance that occurred in 2003. In February of that year, the Oregon State Police reduced its number of highway troopers by approximately 35%.  As a result of the significant reduction in patrol staff, the number of traffic citations that were handed out dramatically decreased. The reduction in enforcement coincided with observed faster traffic speeds, and an increase in collision-related injuries and fatalities. These effects were not observed in neighboring Washington and Idaho, where there was no significant change in patrol employment.

Vacaville Personal Injury Lawyer

Thanks for visiting our legal blog. I’m Ed Smith, a Vacaville personal injury attorney. If you have been injured as a result of another driver’s negligent behavior, call our experienced injury lawyers to receive free and friendly advice. Our local number is (707) 564-1900. We also provide a toll-free line for those calling from other areas of Northern California: (800) 404-5400.

Photo: by Sharon McCutcheon via Unsplash

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