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December 5, 2017 > Union City receives grant to boost traffic safety

Union City receives grant to boost traffic safety

Submitted By Sgt. Steve Mendez, Union City PD

A $141,000 grant is on its way to Union City 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 Union City 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.

ÒWe are excited to partner with the California Office of Traffic Safety to provide intervention and enforcement in an effort keep our community safe. Our goal for these interventions is both a short and long-term reduction in fatal, serious, and overall number of collisions in Union City,Ó said Captain G. Lopez-Vaughan.

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

Activities that the grant will fund include:

¥ Educational presentations
¥ DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols
¥ Bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement
¥ Distracted driving enforcement
¥ Seat belt and child safety seat enforcement
¥ Speed, red light, and stop sign enforcement
¥ Participation in National Teen Safety, Motorcycle Safety, Bicycle Safety and Pedestrian Safety campaigns

While alcohol remains the worst offender for DUI crashes, the Union City Police Department supports a new education program 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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