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November 28, 2017 > Grant to boost traffic safety in Milpitas

Grant to boost traffic safety in Milpitas

Submitted By Sgt. Sean Heneghan, Milpitas PD

A $100,000 grant is on its way to Milpitas 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 Milpitas Police Department will use the funding as part of the cityÕs ongoing commitment to keep roadways safe and improve the quality of life through both enforcement and education.

ÒWith the holidays right around the corner, this grant will enable us to bolster our efforts to keep the streets safe for everyone,Ó said Milpitas Police Chief Steve Pangelinan. ÒThe proposed DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols funded by OTS will undoubtedly prevent families from becoming victims of someone elseÕs bad decision to drive while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.Ó

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. This grant funding will provide opportunities to combat these and other problems such as speeding and crashes at intersections.

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 Milpitas Police Department, with assistance from the Office of Traffic Safety, will use these tools to help keep Milpitas streets safe.Ó

¥ Activities that the grant will fund include:

¥ Educational presentations
¥ DUI checkpoints
¥ DUI saturation patrols
¥ Bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement
¥ Motorcycle safety enforcement ¥ Distracted driving enforcement ¥ Seat belt and child safety seat enforcement
¥ Speed, red light, and stop sign enforcement

While alcohol remains the worst offender for DUI crashes, the Milpitas Police Department supports the new effort from OTS that aims to drive awareness that ÒDUI DoesnÕt Just Mean Booze.Ó Prescription medications and marijuana can also be impairing by themselves, or in combination with alcohol, and can result in a DUI arrest.

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