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Office of Traffic Safety

Moving Forward

OTS will continue to serve as a thought-leader for emerging traffic safety issues, funding results-oriented and innovative programs to help us accomplish our vision of helping to save lives. OTS is receptive to new ideas. We encourage our current grantees, and those organizations with which we have not worked in the past, to bring us their best ideas for solving traffic safety challenges in their communities. We strive to be customer friendly in all of our programs and work hard to streamline processes and eliminate duplication. Many of the strategies listed below are identified in California's SHSP. Future plans to improve traffic safety in California include:


  • Alcohol-Impaired Driving
    • In 2013, OTS again identified and targeted California’s “Top 50 DUI Cities” and funded these cities to conduct additional DUI checkpoints. As a result, the “Top 50 Cities” plan to conduct 760 DUI checkpoints in 2013. (SHSP Action 1.1)
    • Utilizing OTS crash rankings to identify cities with disproportionate numbers of traffic collisions, OTS Regional Coordinators and Law Enforcement Liaisons will contact city representatives to encourage submittal of a grant proposal. (SHSP Action 1.1)
    • Fund 16 county probation departments to target repeat DUI offenders who violate probation terms or who fail to appear in court. Funded strategies include intensive supervision, unannounced home contacts and searches, surveillance operations, highly publicized warrant service operations, alcohol and drug testing, and the distribution of “Hot Sheets” to local law enforcement agencies. (SHSP Action 1.3)
    • Fund a statewide DUI Checkpoint Program for local law enforcement agencies to conducted over 1,500 DUI checkpoints in 2013. To promote sustained enforcement, state and local law enforcement agencies collectively serving at least 50 percent of California’s population or serving geographic subdivisions that account for at least 50 percent of California’s alcohol-related fatalities will conduct checkpoints not less than quarterly. (SHSP Action 1.1)
    • Fund countywide and regional DUI Avoid programs in 40 counties involving 556 law enforcement agencies and CHP to conduct enforcement and media campaigns during holiday periods. OTS and MADD will sponsor regional DUI Seminars recognizing top DUI enforcement officers in each county. (SHSP Action 1.1)
    • Fund 32 “Real DUI Courts” and 21 “Live DUI Sentencing’s” in California high schools providing students the opportunity to see up close the consequences of driving under the influence to individual drivers, crash victims and their own local community. (SHSP Action 6.5)
    • Fund 150 “Every 15 Minutes” programs, a two-day program that focuses on high school juniors and seniors and challenges them to think about the consequences of drinking, personal safety and the responsibility of making mature decisions when lives are involved. (SHSP Action 6.5)
    • Continue the statewide “peer to peer” program: Teens in the Driver Seat.
    • The newly developed three-year performance-based TSRP Strategic Plan will have a heavy emphasis on drug-impaired driving. Law enforcement officers will be trained to better detect and investigate drug-impaired drivers. Both of these objectives will be accomplished by presenting two-day courses that include the seven drug categories in the DRE curriculum (CNS Depressants, CNS Stimulants, Narcotic Analgesics, Cannabis, Dissociative Anesthetics, Inhalants and Hallucinogens). The training will also include trial tactics for prosecutors so they can effectively deal with their own witnesses and defense experts. Two to four classes will be presented, increasing the number of classes from six to eight per year by 2014.
    • Coordinate with the California District Attorneys Association, a Drug-Impaired Driving Seminar in the spring of 2013, for 100 law enforcement personnel and 100 prosecutors from across California who work on misdemeanor or felony drug-impairment cases. The course coordinated by the California Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutors and law enforcement representatives will assist law enforcement and prosecutors in developing the knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate, prepare, and try cases involving drug-impaired driving fatalities. (SHSP Action 1.3)
    • Expand the DUI vertical prosecution program from nine to twenty counties with an emphasis on drug-impaired driving cases.
  • Distracted Driving
    • Fund 37 local law enforcement agencies, plus CHP, to conduct distracted driving enforcement in the Sacramento Media Market region during three mobilizations as part of NHTSA’s Distracted Driving High Visibility Demonstration Project.
    • Conduct three free employer cell phone policy workshops in Southern California that provide distracted driving education and encouraging organizations to develop a cell phone policy for employees.
    • Continue to serve as co-lead with CHP on Challenge Area 17 – Reduce Distracted Driving. (SHSP CA 17) Fund a statewide media campaign to change social norms. (SHSP CA 17.01)
    • Collaborate with local law enforcement and CHP to conduct high visibility enforcement during April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month. (SHSP CA 17.02)
    • Conduct the 3rd annual statewide cell phone/texting observational surveys using the National Occupant Protection User Survey (NOPUS) methodology. (SHSP CA 17.03) Continue and create media partnerships to air Distracted Driving PSAs, present local and national stories, and announce zero tolerance cell phone and texting enforcement.
  • Drug-Impaired Driving
    • Fund alcohol wet lab and field certification training for POST DRE Academies.
    • Increase the number of law enforcement officers who are trained and certified as DRE’s as well as encouraging DRE participation in enforcement operations.
    • Increase the number of established field certification sites and the number of POST academies offering DRE classes statewide.
    • The City of Los Angeles will strengthen DUI Drug cases and pave the way for admissibility of oral fluid testing. A private vendor will provide at no cost two state-of-the-art oral fluid collection machines and saliva collection kits for use at LAPD Sobriety checkpoints. LAPD will maintain the machines and LAPD DRE officers will administer the voluntary oral fluid collection following the completion of DRE evaluation conducted on DUI Drug suspects. An independent laboratory will provide confirmation testing of all samples collected and tested at checkpoint locations.
    • Fund CHP to provide training to a minimum of 200 officers in the Basic SFST course, 160 officers in the DRE course and DRE field certification, 450 officers in the ARIDE course (SHSP Action 1.19), 50 officers as SFST or DRE instructors, and train educational professionals upon request in the DITEP course. Fund the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to contract with the Fullerton Police Department to facilitate DRE training for 50 officers, DRE re-certification for 25 officers, and ARIDE training for 25 officers, from the various law enforcement agencies within the county. Additionally, two prosecutor positions will be funded at 100 percent each to work solely on the prosecution drugged-driving cases.
  • Emergency Medical Services
    • Fund regional EMS programs to ensure rural communities have access to the latest 'state-of-the-art' rescue and extrication equipment. Regions will conduct assessments of their area to determine the needs and provide for the best use of funded equipment.
  • Motorcycle Safety
    • Fund focused public awareness and enforcement campaigns by CHP in areas with highest number of fatal and injury motorcycle crashes. Public awareness will include “Share the Road” messaging for motorists, promoting the use of proper helmets and other safety gear, as well as continuing to encourage riders to take advantage of the California Motorcyclist Safety Program training opportunities. (SHSP Action 12.08 and 12.09)
    • Fund motorcycle safety enforcement operations which include public awareness media efforts in grants to local law enforcement agencies, including motorcycle-specific messaging in general traffic safety and DUI media outreach. (SHSP Action 12.08)
    • Fund a grant to collect, compile and analyze additional data at motorcycle crashes via a supplement to the CHP-555. (SHSP Action 12.06)
    • Develop general guidelines for lane splitting and disseminate via a public awareness campaign using state agency websites, earned media and distribution of printed brochures. (SHSP Action 12.18)
  • Occupant Protection/Bicycle And Pedestrian Safety
    • Fund safety helmets and child safety seats to parents and families in need. At the same time, OTS will ensure parents receiving this life-saving equipment have the training necessary to correctly use the safety device.
    • Fund, at “no cost” to cities and counties, “Pedestrian Safety Assessments” (PSA) conducted by engineers with the University of California, Berkeley. PSA’s help improve pedestrian safety within California communities, as the PSA’s enable cities to systematically identify pedestrian safety issues/problems and effective remedial options. Improved pedestrian safety and improved pedestrian infrastructure in turn can lead to enhanced walkability and economic vitality of communities. Fourteen PSA’s are planned for FFY 2011. (SHSP Action 8.4)
    • Fund grants that support underserved communities. The risk of being injured or killed in a traffic crash is disproportionately high for members of certain groups as defined by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and cultural practices. Latinos, African-Americans, and Native Americans are among the most severely affected. Understanding the factors that contribute to these risks is difficult, in part because data that would identify victims as members of these groups is difficult to find.
    • Stay abreast of all the latest technological innovations and think creatively about countermeasures to confront potential traffic safety problems, including the use of evidence-based technologies such, vehicle speed feedback signs, flashing beacons at school crosswalks, in-roadway warning lights at crosswalks and countdown pedestrian signals. (SHSP Action 8.2)
  • Older Driver Safety
    • Fund the University of California, San Diego to improve driving safety in older adults through interventions addressing Age-Related Driving Disorders (ARDDs) and train law enforcement, health professionals, and students with a broader understanding of older driver sensitivities and impairments. These interventions will include health professional education and training. Driving is an important means of mobility and independence for older adults. However, as seniors age they often experience health and functional impairments that interfere with their ability to drive safely. If left unaddressed, these problems pose a risk of driving-related injury not only to the seniors themselves, but also to their families and to others who share the road with them.
    • Fund the CHP to implement a public awareness and education campaign focusing on senior traffic safety/mobility through the use of multi-disciplinary, community-based collaboration groups. These groups will assess the issues and make recommendations to address the needs of the senior driving community and will include members from public and private organizations including law enforcement, health and aging professionals, transportation agency representatives, and other interested stakeholders.
  • Traffic Records
    • Continue outreach efforts to both urban and rural counties to help them improve safety, data collection, access, and analysis by continuing to fund traffic collision database and GIS mapping systems. OTS staff will assess the use of countywide traffic collision analysis database and GIS mapping programs and facilitate efforts to add additional countywide programs through OTS grants.
    • Continue to embrace automated programs that produce timesaving and operational efficiencies, as part of our effort to utilize technological advances to conduct business and save lives. For example, OTS is continuing to fund a project with the CHP that will deploy Handheld Citation Devices and e-Citation commercial off-the-shelf software to CHP Area Offices for electronic generation of citations and electronic transmission of citations to the applicable county court jurisdictions.
    • Continue to support the California Department of Public Health’s effort to further refine the recently completed Crash Medical Outcomes Data project as necessary and the launch the online query data file from the 2007 linkage. For example, The EDRS motor vehicle death reporting supplement is done and will soon be available to coroners throughout the state.
    • Continue to support the EMSA in their efforts to increase statewide participation from local EMS agencies in the recently completed updated CEMSIS that has been designed to receive both EMS and trauma data electronically from each of the 31 local EMS agencies. The process is in place to revise QI indicators that will be programmed into CEMSIS for end-user use all which is in compliance with the federal data collections systems: National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) and the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB). Injured patient data will continue to be linked with other data systems to assist state and local efforts in injury prevention related to traffic safety.

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  • To redesign the OTS website, including migrating to the new state web template and adding more search options to the OTS Rankings to allow visitors to more easily navigate the site and find the data they need.
  • Continue working closely with the federal government to ensure California receives its fair share of federal funding.
  • Develop and implement a federal transparency reporting process.
  • Continue the Performance Improvement Initiative to streamline the grant application and reporting processes. OTS will look towards conducting as much business as possible over the Internet. Using the Internet as a tool can streamline processes and save valuable time and efforts.
  • Continue to update the OTS intranet content to use as a valuable resource tool for OTS staff.
  • Utilize existing staff to conduct internal audit and mapping of processes to identify and implement new efficiencies.
  • Continue to promote the OTS Employee Recognition Program (ERP) to reward employees for their commitment to superior performance. A Peer Group Election will be conducted to select new Peer Recognition Committee members. The Awards Program Coordinator will survey staff to gain feedback on enhancing the program.

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Marketing and Public Affairs

  • Focus on traffic safety programs forged or uniquely utilized within California. Effectively convey to local and diverse communities the societal benefits that come from positive traffic safety practices. Develop and implement broad-based and targeted public awareness, information, engagement and education programs that not only enlighten, but motivate Californians to employ appropriate traffic safety practices. These efforts will also include campaign specific (e.g., DUI, seat belts, distracted driving, and teens) advertising, earned media, events and training.
  • Spotlight California’s traffic safety successes and innovative grant programs, strategically linking successful programs and focusing on key program areas that make an easily demonstrated difference.
  • Develop practices and communication paths within the grantee structures to carry the public awareness, information, engagement, education and promotion messages to the local and grassroots level. This will further augment and personalize the broader OTS messages.
  • Conduct comprehensive public awareness campaigns, relying on traditional, social and emerging media, to promote the holiday DUI Crackdown, and the National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, and multiple traffic safety messages through sports and venue marketing and outdoor billboard advertising year round. During the national mobilization periods, OTS will promote NHTSA’s slogan “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and the “Report Drunk Drivers Call 911” message.
  • Take an active role in the NHTSA High Visibility Enforcement and Public Awareness Distracted Driving Demonstration Project. We will provide resources for all earned media efforts.
  • Continue to strategically expand approaches that utilize social media and non-traditional communication venues to reach target audiences that are moving away from those that have been used in the past.
  • Use the results of the annual Traffic Safety Intercept Survey, the Roadside Drug and Alcohol Survey, Seat Belt and Distracted Driving Observational Surveys to aid planning and influence reporting, discussion, public engagement, public awareness, public education and, eventually, social norming on the areas covered.
  • Conduct basic public information, media relations, and marketing training for grantees to help them more successfully promote their local messages, events, operations, and activities.

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