Winters Police Department Awarded $50,000 Grant from the Office of Traffic Safety
Winters, Calif. – The Winters Police Department will roll out a police traffic services program to deter dangerous and illegal driving behaviors that increase the risk of crashes in the community. “Impairment, speeding and other dangerous driving behaviors jeopardize the safety of other people on the road,” Winters Police Department Chief John Miller said. “This funding allows us to provide necessary traffic enforcement measures with the goal of reducing serious injury and fatal crashes on our roads,”
Winters saw an overall decrease in traffic collisions during the pandemic but an increase in overall injuries and even fatalities associated with traffic collisions. Compared to 2019, traffic collisions within city limits fell by 40% but the total number of injury crashes doubled. This included three fatal collisions, two of which the primary cause was DUI and the other was associated with drugs.
We would like to thank the California Office of Traffic safety for awarding the Winters Police Department the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) Grant, which will allow the Winters Police Department to update some of our aging equipment to help detect impaired driving, such as Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) devices as well as fund additional officers on overtime to conduct selective enforcement programs including:
- Targeting suspected impaired drivers.
- Focusing on suspected distracted drivers in violation of California’s hands-free cell phone law.
- Bicycle and pedestrian safety focused on driver behaviors that put vulnerable road users at risk.
- Primary collision factor violations including speeding, failure to yield, stop sign and/or red-light running, and improper turning or lane changes.
- Community education presentations on traffic safety issues such as distracted driving, DUI, speeding, and bicycle and pedestrian safety.
- Officer training and/or recertification: Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST) and Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE).
Chief Miller concluded, “We are confident these additional efforts will make Winters a safer community for motorists, bicyclist, and pedestrians alike.”
The grant program from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will run through September 2022.