The San Mateo Police Department has been awarded a $60,000 grant for a year-long program aimed at preventing deaths and injuries on city roadways through special enforcement and public awareness efforts.
The grant, awarded from the California Office of Traffic Safety, will aid in the city’s ongoing effort to improve traffic safety and the quality of life for San Mateo residents.
“The San Mateo Police Department is pleased to again be partnering with the Office of Traffic Safety in expanding our capacity to conduct proactive traffic enforcement,” San Mateo Police Chief Susan Manheimer said in a statement
“This grant from OTS enhances our efforts to ensure traffic, bicycle, and pedestrian safety on our San Mateo streets,” she said.
“We will conduct public safety education and enforcement efforts throughout the year focusing on seasonal traffic safety issues. Traffic Safety remains one of our highest priorities.”
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 by nearly 39 percent between 2006 and 2010 in California, but state and federal officials anticipate that figures will show a slight rise in 2011, according to San Mateo police.
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.
Activities the grant will fund include:
- Distracted driving enforcement
- Seat belt and child safety seat enforcement
- Motorcycle safety enforcement
- Speed, red light and stop sign enforcement
- 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
- Warrant service operations targeting multiple DUI offenders
- Compilation of DUI “Hot Sheets,” identifying worst-of-the-worst DUI offenders
- Stakeout operations to observe the “worst of the worst” repeat DUI offender probationers with suspended or revoked driver licenses
OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy said that while the streets are now much safer than they were six years ago, “The San Mateo Police Department will be keeping the pressure on through enforcement and public awareness so that we can continue saving lives and 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.