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The Redlands Police Department has been awarded a $74,815 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 Redlands will aid in the City’s ongoing effort to improve traffic safety and the quality of life. Redlands Police will use the funding as part of an ongoing commitment to keep our roadways safe through both enforcement and education.

“We have received a Selective Traffic Enforcement Grant from OTS for the past two years and these grants have allowed the Redlands Police Department to increase our traffic enforcement efforts in areas where residents have complained and high collision intersections and roadways such as San Timoteo Canyon and Live Oak Canyon roads,” said Sgt. Ricky Smith, who supervises the Redlands Police Traffic Unit.

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. While traffic deaths from all causes declined by nearly 39 percent between 2006 and 2010 in California, state and federal officials anticipate that figures will show a slight rise in 2011. 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 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
  • Motorcycle safety enforcement
  • Distracted driving enforcement
  • Seat belt and child safety seat enforcement
  • Speed, red light and stop sign enforcement
  • 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

“Despite the recent increases, California’s roadways are still very much safer than they were before 2006,” said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy. “The Redlands 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 one counts.”

A sobriety checkpoint scheduled on Friday, Nov. 16, was cancelled due to rain and officers scheduled to work the checkpoint were reassigned to targeted DUI “saturation” patrols throughout the City. Police arrested five drivers for driving under the influence, conducted 22 traffic stops, arrested one driver who had a warrant for a previous DUI and cited another driver who was driving on a suspended license.

On Monday, Nov. 19, officers funded from an OTS grant conducted targeted enforcement looking for distracted drivers and issued 27 citations for violations including talking on cell phones, texting, running stop signs and red lights, speeding, failure to wear a seatbelt and failure to register a vehicle. One driver was cited and her vehicle impounded after officers learned that she had never had a driver’s license. Officers concentrated on Lugonia Avenue, Alabama Street, Redlands Boulevard, Ford Street, San Timoteo Canyon Road, Texas Street, Cajon Street, Barton Road, Orange Street and San Mateo Street.

Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 21, and continuing through Saturday, officers will conduct grant-funded saturation patrols targeting DUI drivers.

Funding for these programs is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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