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The Redlands Police Department has been awarded a new traffic safety grant for an anti-DUI program aimed at preventing deaths and injuries on the City’s roadways.  Additional enforcement measures to combat impaired driving will be implemented as a result of a recent $85,500 grant awarded by the California Office of Traffic Safety. The Redlands Police Department is dedicated to keeping streets safe through both enforcement and education.

“DUI checkpoints have drastically reduced the number of fatalities and injuries resulting from DUI crashes,” said Sgt. Ricky Smith, who supervises the department’s Traffic Unit. 

Redlands Police have scheduled a DUI checkpoint beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, through 3 a.m. Saturday in the eastbound lanes of Citrus Avenue between Church Street and Central Avenue.

Last week Redlands Police conducted a targeted DUI “saturation patrol” and traffic enforcement funded through a State Office of Traffic Safety grant. On Friday, Nov. 2, Police conducted speed enforcement patrols and on Monday, Nov. 5, officers conducted patrols targeting distracted driving. The patrols concentrated on major streets and the areas where most collisions and complaints occur, including Lugonia Avenue, University Street, Cypress Avenue, Live Oak Canyon Road, San Timoteo Canyon Road, Alabama Street, San Mateo Street and Redlands Boulevard. The enforcement efforts resulted in one arrest for DUI, and 36 citations for violations including cell phone use, running stop signs and red lights, speeding, dropping off small children at school in traffic lanes and not wearing seatbelts. Three drivers were cited for driving without a license and two were cited for driving with suspended licenses.

The most recent DUI checkpoint grant is intended to assist in efforts to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from alcohol and other drug related collisions.  Grant activities will specifically target impaired driving offenders as well as provide public education on the dangers of impaired driving through the use of DUI/driver’s license checkpoints.  When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving. 

Drunk and drugged driving is among America’s deadliest crimes. In 2010, 791 people were killed and more than 24,000 injured in alcohol and drug-impaired crashes in California. Last year, Redlands experienced one motorcyclist killed and 28 others injured in these tragic crashes. Crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough.  Checkpoints have proven to be the most effective of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent.

“DUI checkpoints have been an essential part of the phenomenal reduction in DUI deaths that we witnessed from 2006 to 2010 in California,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the Office of Traffic Safety.  “But since the tragedy of DUI accounts for nearly one third of traffic fatalities, the City of Redlands needs the high visibility enforcement and public awareness that this grant will provide.”

Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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