The Newport Beach Police Department has been awarded a $225,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety for a year-long program of special enforcement and public awareness efforts to prevent traffic-related deaths and injuries, authorities reported in a press release earlier this month.
NBPD will use the funds as “part of the city’s ongoing commitment to keep our roadways safe and improve the quality of life through both enforcement and education,” NBPD spokeswoman Heather Rangel explained in the prepared statement.
The grant will allow NBPD to focus even more on such things as bicycle and pedestrian safety, distracted driving, motorcycle safety, DUI prevention, and public education, explained NBPD Traffic Services Commander Lieutenant Joe Cartwright in the press release.
“By partnering with OTS, our department is committed to making the streets of Newport Beach as safe as possible,” Cartwright noted in the announcement. “The grant funds awarded to us by OTS are an effective force multiplier, thereby allowing us to concentrate on preventing tragedies while making a positive impact for those who live, work, and play in the City of Newport Beach.”
In 2016, 3,623 people were killed in crashes across the state, a seven percent from 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Particularly alarming is the rise in pedestrian deaths, with 867 pedestrians killed on California roadways in 2016, a nearly 33 percent increase from 2012.
“Almost all crashes are preventable,” OTS director Rhonda Craft said in the statement. “Education and enforcement go hand in hand helping change behaviors that cause devastating crashes.”
Activities funded by the grant will include educational presentations, DUI checkpoints, DUI saturation patrols, bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement, motorcycle safety enforcement, distracted driving enforcement, speed, red light, and stop sign enforcement.