Santa Ana Police Department
The Santa Ana Police Department has been awarded a $455,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a yearlong program of special enforcements and public awareness campaigns to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries. The Santa Ana Department will use this funding as part of the city’s ongoing commitment to keep our roadways safe and improve the quality of life through both enforcement and education.
“Active and consistent enforcement of traffic safety laws lessen the number of crashes, thereby reducing injuries, property damage and most importantly, the loss of life. The funding from OTS will help enhance our traffic safety efforts on all fronts,” commented Mayor Pro Tem Martinez.
“Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both is a serious problem that every year results in the death and injury of innocent motorists and pedestrians. This grant funding will permit us to focus our attention on the problem in a more efficient and effective manner. For example our newest Behind The Line community program, gives community members insight into what occurs at proactive DUI enforcement operations” commented Acting Chief of Police David Valentin.
After falling to a ten-year low in 2010, the number of persons killed on roadways has climbed nearly 17 percent across the state, 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 and the emergence of drug-impaired driving. This grant funding will provide opportunities to combat these and other devastating problems such as speeding and crashes at intersections.
“Unsafe behaviors account for 94 percent of traffic crashes,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “This grant emphasizes the two most effective ways to change behaviors – education and enforcement. The Santa Ana Police Department, with assistance from the Office of Traffic Safety, will use these tools to help keep the City of Santa Ana’s streets safe.”
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 Santa Ana Police Department supports the new effort from OTS that aims to drive awareness that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” Prescription medications and marijuana can also be impairing alone, or in combination with alcohol, and can result in a DUI arrest.
Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.