Santa Rosa police recently received two state grants totaling about $165,000 to beef up enforcement of traffic laws, so here’s how the money will be be spent.
One grant is for $75,850 for DUI/license checkpoints. Police Sgt. Rich Celli said that will allow eight checkpoints throughout the year.
The other grant is for $90,000 for a variety of enforcement operations during the year, including:
–Giving officers specialized training in finding and dealing with DUI suspects. Celli said he expects most of the Police Department’s 12 traffic officers will get this extra training.
–16 DUI saturation patrols.
–6 days of motorcycle safety operations, which not only targets unsafe motorcyclists but drivers of cars and trucks who are unsafe around motorcycles. These operations will involve the entire traffic unit for a day, Celli said.
–8 days specifically devoted to distracted driving, such as drivers on cellphones or who are texting.
–8 days of devoted to speed, red light and stop sign enforcement.
–Seat belt and child safety seat enforcement.
–Multiple operations in which warrants targeting multiple DUI offenders will be served.
–Compilation of DUI “hot sheets,” identifying the worst DUI offenders.
–Multiple courthouse “sting” operations, in which drivers whose licenses’ are suspended or revoked in court but then drive away are arrested.
–Stakeouts to catch “worst of the worst” repeat DUI offenders who are on probation with suspended or revoked driver’s licenses.
Celli said the operations covered by both grants all will be conducted by officers on overtime.
Both grants are for one year, from Oct. 1 through next Sept. 30, and are from the state Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In addition, Celli said, police will be stepping up enforcement of pedestrian safety laws in wake of several cases of pedestrians being hit by cars. Officers will be watch for unsafe pedestrians, such as those who step out into a crosswalk or street without looking, are distracted by their cellphones or cross on red lights, and unsafe driver, such as those who fail to give pedestrians the right of way.
Follow the Road Warrior on Twitter via @PDRoadWarrior