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South City Police Finish Fourth Year of Traffic Safety Grant

Local police expect to head into their fifth year with state and federal grants to enhance traffic safety enforcement by October. They are also starting their first year of a pilot program to target repeat DUI offenders.

The South San Francisco Police Department is preparing to finish its fourth year of a traffic safety grant that helps local police keep South City's streets safe by discouraging traffic violations.

The 2011-2012 grant year will finish at the end of September, and according to Lt. Keith Wall, the SSFPD has already applied for next year's grants, which are expected to bring in a total of $104,100.

Funds that have come from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have provided local law enforcement with over half a million dollars in the past four years.

According to the department, that money has helped police to make 64 DUI arrests, 31 criminal arrests, 18 DUI warrant arrests, 501 speeding citations, 85 red light citations, 85 suspended drivers license citations and 320 unlicensed driver citations.

South City has seen a 50% reduction in fatal traffic collisions in the four years that the state and federal grants have been offered, in comparison to the prior two years. The city has also seen a 16% decrease in alcohol-involved collision injuries, 18% decrease in hit and runs injuries and a 12% decrease in speed-related collision injuries, according to a department press release.

In addition to utilizing grant money from OTS and NHTSA, South City police have been undergoing a pilot program since July that uses grant funds acquired by the Department of Motor Vehicles to apprehend repeat DUI offenders.

This program collects data on individuals with two or more DUI convictions and a suspended license so that police can be aware of those drivers in South City.

"We're more concerned with people who have 6 or 7 DUIs," Lt. Wall told Patch, or as the press release put it, "the worst of the worst." Wall said that it's early to evaluate how this pilot program is going, but that it is time intensive for local police to sort through and verify the data the DMV provides.

"It’s constantly being looked at as to whether it’s going to be an effective tool," Wall said.

The SSFPD's fifth year with NHTSA and OTS grants will begin in October.

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Tess September 20, 2012 at 12:41 AM
It would be informative to see the amount of money collected from the citations issued. Its great that they are being issued, but if they are not paid, well, that's a lot of wasted time, effort and resources. Ideally, the cars of unlicensed and suspended lincense drivers should be confiscated and sold with the money going towards the citations and fees. Also, something definitely needs to be done about those 6 or 7 DUI drivers - what is that about? Waiting for them to kill someone before they are put somewhere they can't hurt the general public?

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