Department News & Information

RETURN TO NEWS INDEX

Nov 10, 2011
Fountain Valley Police Department to Combat Traffic Deaths and Injuries with Special Program

The Fountain Valley Police Department has been awarded a new traffic safety grant for a year-long program aimed at preventing deaths and injuries on our roadways. The $80,000 grant awarded by the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to the City of Fountain Valley will aid in the city's ongoing effort to improve traffic safety and the quality of life. Special traffic enforcement measures will be instituted by the Fountain Valley Police Department as part of an ongoing commitment to keep our roadways safe through both enforcement and education. 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. Traffic deaths from all causes declined in California by 11.9 percent, from 3,081 killed in 2009 to 2,715 in 2010. While alcohol impaired deaths saw a sharp decline last year, DUI deaths remain the largest sector, at more than 30 percent of traffic fatalities. The grant activities will specifically target motorcycle safety, DUI offenders, red light running, speeding, and violations which occur at or near intersections with a disproportionate amount of traffic collisions. This will be done through the use of DUI/driver's license checkpoints, DUI saturation patrols and special enforcement operations. 'Thanks to the dedicated hard work of agencies like the Fountain Valley Police Department, California has the fewest traffic fatalities since 1944,' said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy. 'While this is good news, we know that only by keeping the pressure on through enforcement and public awareness can we hope to sustain these declines and save lives.' DUI/driver's license checkpoints are a key component of the grant. These highly visible, widely publicized events are meant to deter impaired driving, not to increase arrests. Research shows that crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent. This grant also provides drug impairment training to help combat the increasing problem of drivers under the influence of legal and illegal substances. Grant funding will allow two officers to receive specialized training to detect impaired drivers under the influence of legal and illegal drugs. This training will provide on-the-spot assessment of drivers suspected of drug impairment. New this year is the addition of two special motorcycle safety enforcement operations. Motorcycle fatalities have finally dropped in California, following a decade-long rise in deaths. In 2010, 353 motorcyclists were killed, a 37 percent drop from the all-time high for California in 2008. Fountain Valley Police Officers will be conducting specialized enforcement efforts throughout the next twelve months. Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas and events where motorcycle crashes and incidents have occurred. Officers will be cracking down on traffic violations made by regular vehicle drivers and motorcyclists that result in far too many motorcycle collisions, injuries and deaths. 'We are on the right path with declining fatalities,' said Murphy. 'We have to stick to that path so that some day we can reach the vision we all share - 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.

RETURN TO NEWS INDEX