A new $1.1 M traffic safety grant has been awarded to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) for a year-long anti-DUI program aimed at preventing deaths and injuries on our roadways.
Additional enforcement measures in place to combat impaired driving are coming as a result of a recent $1,100,000.00 grant awarded by the California Office of Traffic Safety. The LASD is dedicated to keeping our streets safe through both enforcement and education.
The special DUI Enforcement and Awareness grant is to assist in efforts to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol and other drug related collisions in the community. The grant activities will specifically target impaired driving offenders as well as educate the public on the dangers of impaired driving.
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This will be done through the use of DUI/driver’s license checkpoints, warrant searches and stakeouts for repeat DUI offenders, saturation patrols, and court stings where DUI offenders with suspended or revoked driver licenses get behind the wheel after leaving court.
Drunk driving is one of America’s deadliest crimes. In 2009, over 10,839 people died in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. California data for 2009 showed that 950 died in Alcohol Impaired Collisions, a 7.6 percent reduction in deaths from 2008.
“Everyone in California should be heartened with these figures,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). “But as encouraging as this is, we can’t let up on the efforts to promote and enforce traffic safety. Far too many are still losing their lives or being severely injured on our roadways.”
For the second year in a row, the LASD will be conducting three special Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operations. Motorcycle fatalities have finally turned and dropped in California, following an 11 year, 175 percent rise in deaths. In 2009, 393 motorcyclist were killed, a 29 percent drop from 2008 statistics. Sadly, California remains one of 3 states that still lead the nation in motorcyclist’s deaths.
LASD Deputies will be conducting specialized enforcement efforts throughout the course of the next year. Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas frequented by motorcycles. Officers will be cracking down on traffic violations made by motorcyclists, and other vehicle drivers, that result in far too many motorcycle collisions, injuries and deaths.
“These figures represent more people making it home safely and alive each day,” said Murphy. “But to keep this trend going, we will continue to strive to meet our vision – Toward zero deaths, every 1 counts.”
Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
42 of the 88 cities of Los Angeles County contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to be their sole police department. In addition to crime prevention and enforcement for those cities, the LASD has sole responsibility for traffic enforcement and the prevention and handling of traffic collisions. The LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority also contracts with the LASD to be their policing agency for Metro buses and trains, which includes traffic enforcement.
National Law Enforcement Challenge:
The traffic strategies of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) earned the First Place award from the annual National Law Enforcement Challenge (NLEC), for sheriff’s departments with more than 1,000 deputies. More than 530 law enforcement agencies submitted publications for this competition, detailing their traffic strategies.
Awarded in October 2009 at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference in Denver, Colorado, the NLEC is a friendly competition between similar sizes and types of law enforcement agencies and is financed through a grant awarded to the IACP by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The NLEC is designed to strengthen and support traffic enforcement nationwide and targets three major traffic safety priorities: occupant protection, impaired driving, and speeding. The LASD was recognized for its strategy of officer training, public information, and enforcement to reduce traffic and injuries within its jurisdiction.