Livingston police receive $45,000 for traffic safety program

The Livingston Police Department announced Thursday it has received a $45,000 grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety to help reduce deaths and injuries on city roadways.

While traffic deaths in California declined by nearly 39percent between 2006 and 2010, they rose by more than 2percent in 2011. State and federal officials believe those numbers rose again in 2012, though formal reports have not been published, the department said in a news release.

Nearly 30 percent of traffic fatalities are the result of a drunken driver, police said. Recent trends show increases in two new categories – distracted driving and drug-impaired driving.

“We are committed to providing safe roadways for our community and look forward to providing educational opportunities at our schools to do our part in meeting the goals of zero accidents,” Chief Ruben Chavez said in the statement. “This grant provides an opportunity to educate our public on the importance of wearing your seatbelt, not to drive while distracted, and to obey all traffic laws around schools, as well as ensuring people continue to hear the message loud and clear – do not drink and drive.”

Funding for the year-long program comes from the state traffic safety office through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Activities funded by the grant include:

• Specialized DUI and drugged-driving training such as Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement, and Drug Recognition Evaluator

• DUI saturation patrols

• Motorcycle safety enforcement

• Distracted driving enforcement

• Seat belt and child safety seat enforcement

• Speed, red light and stop sign enforcement

• Warrant service operations targeting multiple DUI offenders

• Compilation of DUI “hot sheets,” identifying worst-of-the-worst DUI offenders