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November 7, 2017 > Grant to boost traffic safety on Fremont streets

Grant to boost traffic safety on Fremont streets

Submitted By Geneva Bosques, Fremont PD

A $165,000 grant is on its way to Fremont to help police step up traffic safety programs throughout the city.

The grant, provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will help fund a year-long program of special enforcements and public awareness efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries. The funding will be used as part of the cityÕs ongoing commitment to keep roadways safe and improve the quality of life through both enforcement and education.

After falling to a ten year low in 2010, OTS officials report that the number of people killed on roadways has climbed nearly 17 percent across the California, with 3,429 fatalities in 2015. Particularly alarming is the rise in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities that now comprise nearly 25 percent of all traffic deaths, along with the growing dangers of distracting technologies such as texting, and the emergence of drug-impaired driving.

ÒUnsafe behaviors account for 94 percent of traffic crashes,Ó said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. ÒThis grant emphasizes the two most effective ways to change behaviors -- education and enforcement. The Fremont Police Department, with assistance from the Office of Traffic Safety, will use these tools to help keep Fremont streets safe.Ó

While alcohol remains the worst offender for DUI crashes, Fremont Police Chief Richard Lucero supports a new effort from OTS that aims to drive awareness that, "DUI Doesn't Just Mean Booze." Prescription medications and marijuana can also be impairing by themselves or in combination with alcohol, and can result in a DUI arrest.

Among the activities in Fremont the OTS grant will fund include:

¥ Traffic safety educational presentations
¥ DUI checkpoints
¥ DUI saturation patrols
¥ Warrant service operations targeting multiple DUI offenders who fail to appear in court
¥ Highly publicized bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement
¥ Highly publicized motorcycle safety enforcement
¥ Highly publicized distracted driving enforcement
¥ Speed, red light, and stop sign enforcement
¥ Training related to identification, investigation and apprehension of impaired drivers

Money from the grant will also help fund local versions of numerous traffic safety campaigns including: National Walk to School Day, NHTSA Winter and Summer Mobilization, National Bicycle Safety Month, National Click It or Tick It Mobilization, National Teen Driver Safety Week, National Distracted Driver Awareness Month, National Motorcycle Safety Month, National Child Passenger Safety Week and CaliforniaÕs Pedestrian Safety Month along with seat belt and child safety seat enforcement.

Finally, the grant will allow the city to purchase or acquire safety equipment including vehicle speed feedback signs, DUI checkpoint supplies and a preliminary alcohol screening device and calibration supplies.

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