Moving Forward - 2007
The Office of Traffic Safety (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 achieving the fewest traffic-related fatalities in the nation. 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 will work hard to streamline processes and eliminate duplication. Future plans to improve traffic safety in California include:
- High Visibility Enforcement
- Fund two Law Enforcement Liaison (LEL) Officers – Southern and Northern California – to encourage coordination and participation of local law enforcement agencies in the OTS "Click it or Ticket", Sobriety Checkpoint mini-grant programs, and “DUI Avoid” Campaigns. The LEL's will also continue to conduct Grantee Performance Reviews and other monitoring activities. Additionally, the LEL's will promote the new OTS "Grants Made Easy" program for local law enforcement agencies and facilitate, in any way possible, submission of successful grant applications. LEL's will network with police departments to determine gaps in best practices and funding needs that can be addressed with OTS funding. The LEL’s will encourage local law enforcement to submit nominations for the California Law Enforcement Challenge.
- Fund sobriety checkpoints and lead innovative efforts targeting repeat DUI offenders and hardcore drunk drivers, including DUI warrant service patrols, court sting operations and stakeouts to capture those repeat DUI offenders and hardcore drinking drivers who violate probation or fail to appear in court.
- Fund twenty-one (21) 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.
- Fund a statewide “Sobriety Checkpoint Mini Grant Program for Local Law Enforcement Agencies”.
- Fund six additional County/Regional “DUI Avoid Campaigns” to touch the entire state and support efforts to continue bringing the issue of DUI to the attention of all Californians. OTS will work diligently to ‘close the gap’ by encouraging law enforcement agencies in all areas of the state to actively take part in “DUI Avoid Campaigns”.
- Fund the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to award mini grants to local law enforcement agencies to expand the Minor Decoy Training program and include “On-Sale” premises. Local law enforcement agencies will work with ABC to conduct decoy and shoulder tap operations to reduce youth access to alcohol in the retail environment.
- Fund local law enforcement agencies to provide the necessary training and resources needed to conduct inspections of illegally modified vehicles.
- Prosecutors & DUI/Drug Courts
- Fund five regional Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutors (TSRP’s) to provide specialized expertise needed for local prosecutors. TSRP’s will help ensure that all prosecutors have ready access to the information and resources they need to meet and overcome all-too-common hurdles in DUI prosecutions.
- Fund programs with District Attorney’s Offices in Fresno and Orange Counties to create vertical prosecution programs targeting repeat and felony hardcore DUI offenders.
- Fund a Pilot Program in Sacramento County to provide a brief intervention for impaired drivers at the jail upon their release. The purpose of the "brief intervention" is to create a "teachable moment" where impaired drivers can receive resources and referral to treatment that will prompt changes in their "life-threatening" driving behavior.
- Fund the Administrative Office of the Courts to fund the implementation of a statewide program to bring a plethora of proven education programs to middle and high school students that may include Real DUI Trials, Courtroom to School Room, and the Courage to Live programs. These innovative programs bring to school auditoriums actual DUI court trials and the sentencing of actual convicted DUI offenders to increase awareness about the consequences of drinking and driving.
- Fund a pilot program in Sacramento County that employs two full time District Attorney Criminal Investigators to serve arrest warrants on recidivist DUI defendants. Under this program, misdemeanor recidivist DUI defendants (who before this program ignored the requirement to go to court with near impunity) will be actively identified, sought out, and arrested, as will felony DUI recidivists.
- Fund three new DUI Courts in Santa Clara, Fresno, and Orange counties. DMV will evaluate two of the DUI Courts to determine their success in reducing DUI recidivism rates and alcohol-involved crashes. Some repeat DUI offenders will be required to take the drug naltrexone, which reduces craving and pleasure from alcohol consumption, and a brief psychosocial intervention called motivational interviewing. The DUI Court, based upon the successful drug court model, increases the level of accountability of high risk repeat DUI offenders by requiring them to participate in treatment combined with education, judicial scrutiny, alcohol and drug testing and formal probation supervision.
- Fund the Administrative Office of the Courts to partner with California’s peer court system to implement a statewide Peer Courts DUI Intervention and Prevention Strategies Program. The program will award 20 mini grants to existing peer courts to provide input on the development of a statewide DUI prevention and intervention curriculum aimed at educating juveniles about the dangers of drinking and driving under the influence.
- Seat Belt Safety
- Fund the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to implement a statewide program focusing on teen seat belt use. The program includes “High School Seat Belt Challenge” mini grants to cities, which are designed to raise awareness and promote seat belt use through a good-natured, student run competition on high school campuses. Seat belt enforcement will be conducted near high schools with low seat belt compliance.
- Fund a statewide “Click it or Ticket” mini grant program for local law enforcement agencies to conduct seat belt enforcement.
- Traffic Records/Roadway Safety
- Continue participation in the Statewide Traffic Records Committee (TRCC). The TRCC is recommending OTS fund 13 new records proposals for programs identified in the Statewide Traffic Records Assessment report and the Strategic Plan developed by the TRCC in 2006.
- Proactively reach out to County Engineer Departments to utilize local crash data to determine potential sites for the purchase and installation of vehicle speed feedback signs, flashing beacons at school crosswalks, in-roadway warning lights at crosswalks and countdown pedestrian signals.
- Proactively contact counties to determine their interest in receiving funding for countywide GIS based Collision Record Systems. Cities with more that 100 annual fatal and injury crashes will be eligible to receive funding for automated records systems.
- 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 as red light running cameras.
- Continue to embrace automation 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 will continue to provide funding for hardware and software to automate the traffic citation and DUI arrest processes. These systems greatly enhance accuracy and eliminate the entry of redundant information.
- Other Strategies
- Fund the development and implementation of regional emergency medical services 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 to provide for the best use of funded equipment.
- Fund the purchase and distribution of 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 traffic safety programs for the hard to reach population comprised of youth 10-18 years of age. Collisions involving this age group, as drivers, passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists, due to DUI, illegal street racing, speeding, reckless driving, etc. are climbing. More innovative programs covering all types of traffic safety areas are needed at the regional level, which can be replicated by jurisdictions of all sizes.
- Fund the “Older Driver Task Force,” headed by CHP, to plan and develop programs to address the needs of the older drivers and pedestrians to decrease crash and injury risks now and in the future.
- Begin working to establish a web-based database solution for grants administration to encompass the submission and tracking of proposals, Quarterly Performance Reports, and claims.
- Implement a comprehensive and innovative “Employee Recognition Program” to properly recognize employees.
- To enhance OTS customer communication efforts, OTS will develop a protocol to implement a procedure to mass email grantees pertinent information and staffing changes.
- Develop an OTS Intranet as a tool to organize and display internal information.
- Move key performance indicators from the Quarterly Management Report to the BTH web-based “Performance Based Management System”.
- Implement the performance-based “Strategic Plan” that was developed in 2006.
- Retool “Grants Made Easy,” the grant proposal process designed specifically for local law enforcement agencies. “Grants Made Easy” significantly reduces the paperwork and time required to submit a proposal and finalize a grant agreement. This program also streamlines the reporting requirements. In addition, “Grants Made Easy” will enable OTS staff to significantly reduce the number of days required to process new grants. This innovative grant application process is a direct result of OTS’ Performance Improvement Initiative to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.
- Use OTS Crash Rankings to identify cities with disproportionate numbers of traffic collisions. OTS Coordinators and Law Enforcement Liaison Officers will meet with traffic safety professionals in those cities to discuss remedies to the problems. OTS will help the cities to develop innovative programs utilizing various agencies within the cities to combat the particular problems in a comprehensive and collaborative fashion.
- Partner with NHTSA to conduct a statewide “Impaired Driving Assessment” in September 2007. The assessment is a review of California’s impaired driving programs by a nationally recognized team of experts. The team, through interviews, evaluates the current status and provides recommendations for improvements/enhancements on programs related to impaired driving.
- Host the Traffic Safety Summit in April 2007. The Summit is the largest statewide “traffic safety” conference in the nation.
- Continue working closely with the Federal Government to ensure California receives its fair share of federal funding.
- Continue the Performance Improvement Initiative to streamline administrative an operational processes and practice. Staff will conduct internal audit and mapping of processes to identify and implement new efficiencies.
- Enhance accountability by expanding and redefining performance measurements.
Marketing and Public Affairs
- Promote as key messages, “Click it or Ticket” and “Report Drunk Drivers Call 911”. During the national mobilization periods, OTS will promote NHTSA’s slogan “Drive Drunk. Over the Limit. Under Arrest”.
- Profile innovative, California-owned safety programs. This also includes effectively communicating the lifesaving and economic savings of traffic safety practices.
- Develop and execute meaningful public education programs designed to engage Californians, not just inform, thereby contributing to a measurable change in behavior.
- Spotlight California’s traffic safety successes and innovative grant programs, strategically linking successful programs and focusing on key program areas that make a difference.
- Develop practices and personnel with grantees to carry their public education and promotion messages to the local and grassroots level. This will further augment and personalize the broader OTS messages.