PD gets grant for enforcement, prevention

The Ridgecrest Police Department has been awarded a $99.670 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long program aimed at preventing deaths and injuries on our roadways through special enforcement and public awareness efforts. The grant received by Ridgecrest will aid in the city’s ongoing effort to improve traffic safety and the quality of life.

The police department will use the funding as part of an ongoing commitment to keep our roadways safe through both enforcement and education.

According to Chief of Police Ron Strand, 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 rose by 2.6 percent in 2011. State and federal officials anticipate that figures will show another rise 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.

Activities that the grant will fund include:

*Specialized SUI 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

• Motorcycle safety enforcement

• Distracted driving enforcement

•?Seat belt and child safety seat enforcement

• Speed, red light and stop sign enforcement

• Compilation of DUI “Hot Sheets,” identifying worst-of-the-worst DUI offenders

• Court “sting” operations to cite individuals driving home from court after having their driver’s license suspended or revoked for drunk driving

Funding for this program is from the OTS through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Story First Published: 2013-10-09