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The Gilroy Police Department has received a state grant to help pay for traffic education and more enforcement of traffic violations on the city’s streets.

The $76,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety was announced earlier this month.The funds will pay for a year-long traffic safety program intended to educate the public on safe roadway habits and to deter people from violating traffic laws and practicing unsafe behaviors that can lead to injuries and deaths.

The grant will fund various education and enforcement activities for the 2019 federal fiscal year, including:

• DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols to take suspected alcohol and drug-impaired drivers—and those who are unlicensed or driving with a revoked/suspended license—off the road

• Traffic safety education presentations for youth and community members on distracted, impaired and teen driving, and bicycle/pedestrian safety

• Patrols at intersections with increased incidents of pedestrian and bike collisions

• Motorcycle safety operations in areas with high rider volume and where higher rate of motorcycle crashes occur

• Speeding, red light and stop sign enforcement

• Compilation of DUI “Hot Sheets” identifying repeat DUI offenders

• Specialized DUI and drugged-driving training to identify and apprehend suspected impaired drivers.

In 2016, 3,623 people were killed in crashes throughout California, a 7 percent increase from 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Also in 2016, 867 pedestrians were killed on California roadways—a nearly 33 percent increase from 2012.

Along with education about the growing dangers of distracting technologies like phones and drug-impaired driving, the grant funding will provide opportunities to combat these dangerous and illegal behaviors in Gilroy, according to authorities.

“Almost all crashes are preventable,” Office of Traffic Safety director Rhonda Craft said in a press release. “Education and enforcement go hand in hand helping change behaviors that cause devastating crashes.”

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