By Timothy Mably
The Burbank Police Department has received a $100,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to fund a year-long program intended to prevent road deaths and injuries by enforcing awareness and educating the public.
The grant will contribute to presentations on traffic safety, DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols, bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement, motorcycle safety enforcement, distracted driving enforcement, and seatbelt and child safety seat enforcement.
“This grant supports our mission to continue educating the public through various enforcement campaigns throughout the year in order to reduce the number of injuries and deaths attributed to traffic collisions and unsafe driving habits,” said Chief of Police, Scott LaChasse.
Following a decade long low in 2010, the amount of people killed in car accidents has grown to 17% across the country. In 2015, there was a record total of 3,429 fatalities from traffic related incidents. Almost a quarter of fatalities involved pedestrians and bicyclists.
According to OTS Director Rhonda Craft, unsafe behavior causes about 94% of accidents, whether it is the result of texting or the influence of drugs.
“While alcohol remains the worst offender for DUI crashes, the Burbank Police Department supports the new effort from OTS which aims to drive awareness that ‘DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze,’” said Sgt. Derek Green in a press release. “Prescription medications and marijuana can also be impairing by themselves, or in combination with alcohol, and can result in a DUI arrest.”
This grant comes after an elderly man was struck and killed while crossing the intersection of Glenoaks Boulevard and Lincoln Street at the beginning of the month. A Disney employee was also killed by an inattentive driver while crossing Alameda Avenue and Lincoln in September.
Funding for the program comes from OTS through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.