The San Rafael Police Department has been awarded a $73,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long program that officials say aims to reduce accidents through special enforcement and public awareness efforts.
The grant will boost the city’s ongoing effort to improve traffic safety and quality of life, officials said.
"The San Rafael Police Department will use the funding as part of an on-going commitment to keep our roadways safe through both enforcement and education," police department spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said in a prepared statement.
The grant will assist in efforts to deal with traffic safety problems and to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in traffic collisions, Lt. Alan Piombo, who command's the department's traffic unit, said in a prepared statement.
“We are very pleased to receive this grant opportunity and the funding will enable us to focus more resources on traffic safety and enforcement, which is a primary concern in our city,” Piombo said.
Traffic deaths from all causes declined by nearly 39 percent between 2006 and 2010 in California but spiked 2.6 percent in 2011.
State and federal officials anticipate that figures will show another increase for 2012.
DUI deaths remain the largest sector, at nearly 30 percent of traffic fatalities.
Recent trends show increases in two new categories – distracted driving and drug-impaired driving.
The grant will fund enforcement activities including:
• Specialized DUI and drugged driving training such as Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST), Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), and Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE).
• DUI Saturation Patrols • Distracted driving enforcement
• Seat belt and child safety seat enforcement
• Speed, red light and stop sign enforcement
• Warrant service operations targeting multiple DUI offenders
• Court “sting” operations to cite individuals driving from court after having their driver’s license suspended or revoked for drunk driving
Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.