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|December 8, 2011
GRANT FUNDS TO BE USED TO COMBAT TRAFFIC SAFETY
The Rancho Cordova Police Department has been awarded a traffic safety grant for a year-long program aimed at preventing deaths and injuries on our roadways. The $230,000 grant awarded by the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) will aid in the city’s ongoing effort to improve traffic safety and the quality of life. In a continuing effort to save lives and prevent injuries on our streets, the Rancho Cordova Police Department and Mercy San Juan Medical Center are once again joining forces to provide better traffic enforcement and a forum to provide child safety seat education to a greater segment of the Rancho Cordova Community. Special traffic enforcement and education measures will be instituted by the Rancho Cordova Police Department and the Mercy San Juan Medical Center in their ongoing commitment to keep our roadways safe.
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. Traffic deaths from all causes declined in California by 11.9 percent, from 3,081 in 2009 to 2,715 in 2010. While alcohol impaired deaths saw a sharp decline last year, DUI deaths represent more than 30 percent of traffic fatalities.
The grant activities will specifically target DUI offenders, drivers with suspended or revoked licenses, red light running, speeding, and seatbelt violations. This will be done through the use of DUI/driver’s license checkpoints, special enforcement operations, and education of the community to seatbelts and child safety seats.
The educational goal will be accomplished through training provided by the Mercy San Juan Medical Center. Assistance will be provided to multi-lingual trainers, allowing child safety seat information to be disseminated to the primarily Russian, Spanish and Hmong-speaking communities of Rancho Cordova.
“Thanks to the dedicated hard work of agencies like the Rancho Cordova Police Department, California has the fewest traffic fatalities since 1944,” said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy. “While this is good news, we know that only by keeping the pressure on through enforcement and public awareness can we hope to sustain these declines and save lives.”
DUI/Drivers License Checkpoints are a key component of the grant. These highly visible, widely publicized events are meant to deter impaired driving, not to increase arrests. Research shows that crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent.
This grant also provides drug impairment training to combat the increasing problem of drivers who are under the influence. Eight officers will receive specialized training to detect impaired drivers and provide on-the-spot assessment of drivers suspected of drug impairment.
Rancho Cordova Police Officers will be conducting specialized enforcement efforts throughout the next twelve months, patrolling areas and events where motorcycle crashes have occurred. Officers will be cracking down on traffic violations made by regular vehicle drivers and motorcyclists that result in far too many motorcycle collisions, injuries and deaths.
“We are on the right path with declining fatalities,” said Murphy. “We have to stick to that path so that some day we can reach the vision we all share – Toward zero deaths, every 1 counts.”
Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For additional information, contact Sergeant Jerry Lane at (916) 876-6675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.