The Redding Police Department announced Friday it was awarded a $315,000 grant to help prevent traffic-related deaths and injuries, especially those related to alcohol.
This isn't the first time RPD has received this type of grant.
But it is significantly more than they've received in the past which will allow them to dedicate a full-time police officer to dui and traffic enforcement.
According to the Office of Traffic Safety, the number of people killed on California roadways has climbed nearly 17 percent since 2010 with a little over 3,400 fatalities in 2015
102 of those fatalities happened in Redding and were DUI related, with about the same number happening in 2016.
“And so it's extremely important to not only educate the public on DUI prevention but to do enforcement actions to prevent those DUI collisions from ever occurring,” RPD traffic specialist Bryan Cowan said.
Just last week, two teeneagers were killed and three injured while waiting at a stop light after a drunk driver ran into the back of their car.
Now police hope the newly-awarded funds will help them prevent tragedies like that from happening again.
But they’re not just targeting drunk drivers.
“They're looking for objective symptoms of someone who's driving under the influence of not only alcohol but prescription medications,” Cowan said.
That also goes for over-the-counter medications and even marijuana.
The grant will also help fund additional police activities like DUI checkpoints, bike and pedestrian safety enforcement, and distracted driving enforcement to name a few.
Cowan says, it's a small price to pay to make the roads a little safer.
“If we can stop on collision from occurring that was like the one last Friday, then any monies that we spend would be well worth it,” he said.
A big component of the grant is safety through education.
So RPD will be conducting a number of public workshops throughout the year to educate the public on the dangers of DUI as well as other unsafe behaviors while behind the wheel.
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