News Flash

Police Department

Posted on: October 22, 2021

WPD awarded $125,800 in grants to increase road, bicycle, and pedestrian safety

Freedom Bazaar! (1)

The grants will prioritize the safety of our drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians

The Watsonville Police Department has been awarded two grants totaling $125,800 that will prioritize the safety of our drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. 


An $80,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety will allow us to provide necessary traffic enforcement measures to deter dangerous and illegal driving behaviors that increase the risk of serious injury and fatal crashes in our community. 


“Impairment, speeding, and other dangerous driving behaviors jeopardize the safety of other people on the road,” Watsonville Police Department Sergeant, Donny Thul said. 


The grant will pay for additional efforts including:  


  • DUI checkpoints and patrols specifically focused on suspected impaired drivers.


  • Enforcement operations focused on suspected distracted drivers in violation of California’s hands-free cell phone law.


  • Bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operations focused on driver behaviors that put vulnerable road users at risk.


  •  Enforcement operations focused on top violations that cause crashes: speeding, failure to yield, stop sign and/or red-light running, and improper turning or lane changes.


  •  Community education presentations on traffic safety issues such as distracted driving, DUI, speeding, and bicycle and pedestrian safety.


  •  Officer training and/or recertification: Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST), Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) and Drug Recognition Expert (DRE).


A $45,800 grant will focus specifically on the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. 


“Our roads are increasingly riskier for people who walk or ride their bike,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “The goal of this funding is to reverse the growing trend of bicyclist and pedestrian-involved crashes by educating the public on safe road behaviors.”


Grant funds will pay for a comprehensive safety program that will teach valuable skills for all types of road users:


  • Walking Field Trips that educate youth and older adults on safe walking habits.


  • Participate in “Open Streets” events promoting alternate transportation options.


  • Bicycle skills and training courses that educate youth on safe riding behaviors.


  • Helmet fitting inspections and distribution of helmets to those in need.


  • Community and school education presentations on best bike/walking practices.


  • Incorporating bicycle safety skills into regular community bike rides.

 

These grant programs will run through September 2022. Funding was provided by grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 



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