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Office of Traffic Safety

Moving Forward - 2008

The 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. Future plans to improve traffic safety in California include:


  • Alcohol and Other Drugs
    • Use OTS Crash Rankings to identify cities with disproportionate numbers of traffic collisions. The OTS Regional Coordinators and LEL's will meet with traffic safety professionals in those cities to discuss remedies to the problems. The Coordinators and LEL's 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. Proposals will be submitted to OTS for inclusion into the Highway Safety Plan for FFY 2010.
    • Fund twenty-five (25) 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.
    • Solicit proposals for another round of overtime grants for police departments to conduct DUI/Driver’s License checkpoints in 2009.  In December 2007, 103 police departments were awarded a total of $4 million to conduct checkpoints in 2008.
    • Continue county wide and regional DUI Avoid programs to conduct enforcement and media campaigns during holiday periods.  A long-term goal of OTS’ has been realized, with 98 percent of the state’s population now blanketed by a DUI Avoid program. A total of 41 counties involving 547 law enforcement agencies and CHP are participating in the program.
    • Through a grant with CHP, award 250 mini grants to local agencies to conduct the “Every 15 Minutes” program in California high schools.  The “Every 15 Minutes” program is 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.  OTS is also funding CHP’s teen education program; “Start Smart”.
    • Fund the Administrative office of the courts (AOC) to create and implement the “DUI Courts, Sentencing and "Courage to Live" IN Middle and High Schools” program. The AOC will award sub-grants to four mentor courts and 10 implementation courts to develop and test various models of real DUI courts in high schools. Conducting live DUI court proceedings in California high schools provides students the opportunity to see up close the consequences of driving under the influence to individual drivers, crash victims and their own local community. Three hundred “live” presentations are planned for 2008.
    • 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 the expansion of “DUI Only Courts” in California.  In 2008, OTS will fund new DUI courts in El Dorado, Orange, Shasta, Sonoma, Fresno, and San Joaquin counties – prior to 2008, there were only three DUI courts in California.
    • Continue funding the newly established “Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor (TSRP)” program. OTS funding has allowed for the creation of TSRP’s that serve five regions in the state; Fresno, Riverside, Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento. Progress to date includes the establishment of five "resource centers;" a DUI Prosecutor mentoring program; and a specialized DUI prosecution training program. In 2008, at least 12 training programs will be offered to law enforcement officers and prosecutors.
    • Continue the “Sacramento County Pilot Program For Brief Intervention Of Impaired Drivers” upon their release.  The purpose of the “brief intervention” is to create a "teachable moment" for repeat DUI offenders upon release from jail.
    • Carefully review for implementation the priority recommendations of NHTSA’s “Impaired Driving - Technical Analysis of California” report.
    • Promote 30-day vehicle impound programs targeting drivers with suspended or revoked licenses. A component of this effort includes the development of ‘hot sheets’ that will be distributed to local law enforcement personnel to aid in the apprehension of these drivers. 
    • Sponsor the Police Traffic Services Seminar (PTS) to be held April 28-30, 2008, in Anaheim. This seminar gives OTS law enforcement grantees the opportunity to share ideas, take an inside look at model programs, and meet directly with other grantees and OTS staff.
  • Occupant Protection/Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety
    • In February 2008, a team of national experts will conduct a statewide assessment of California’s Occupant Protection Program - for Kids. OTS is working closely with the Department of Public Health and NHTSA to coordinate the assessment.
    • Continue to focus on increasing seat belt use and public information to educate Californians about the life-saving benefits of seat belt use on each and every ride. Seat belts are the single most effective motor vehicle occupant safety device yet developed for older children and adults.
    • Another round of ‘Click it or Ticket” mini grants will be awarded to police departments for overtime seat belt enforcement to coincide with the national mobilization period (May 19 – June 1, 2008).
    • Through grant funding to CHP, 200 communities will receive funding to implement “High School Seat Belt Challenge” programs. The challenge program is designed to raise awareness and promote seat belt use through a good-natured, student run competition on high school campuses.
    • Fund the University of California at Berkeley to develop a Pedestrian Safety Audit tool kit. The Pedestrian Safety Audit tool kit will be the first of its kind in the nation. Once developed, two grant funded engineers will provide cities and counties free pedestrian safety assessments.
    • Continue to provide 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.
    • Continue to fund projects that support under-served 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 as red light running cameras, vehicle speed feedback signs, flashing beacons at school crosswalks, in-roadway warning lights at crosswalks and countdown pedestrian signals.
    • Promote countywide grants that provide funding for traffic control devices such as vehicle speed feedback signs, flashing beacons at school crosswalks, in-roadway warning lights at crosswalks, and countdown pedestrian signals. County agencies submitting proposals for traffic control devices must conduct a comprehensive local needs and problem identification assessment of city and county roadways to justify funding request.
  • Emergency Medical Services
    • Coordinate 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.
  • Traffic Records
    • 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 to automate the traffic citation and DUI arrest processes. These systems greatly enhance accuracy and eliminate the entry of redundant information. Another example of efficient use of technology is the application of automated collision diagramming to pinpoint key problem areas and identify appropriate solutions.  OTS staff will assess the use of countywide GIS programs and facilitate efforts to gain countywide programs through OTS grants.
    • To better understand how to prevent Californians from being injured and killed in traffic crashes, California’s traffic safety and injury prevention community needs analyses of both crash and medical data focusing on person-level risk factors and outcomes.  Funding will be provided to the Department of Public Health to better understand current gap in knowledge by integrating data sets like SWITRS, pre-hospital records, emergency department records, hospital inpatient records, and death data.
    • Funding is being allocated to the Emergency Medical Services Authority to update the California EMS Information System (CEMSIS) to be in compliance with, and participate in, the federal data collections systems: National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) and the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB).  CEMSIS will be designed to receive both EMS and trauma data electronically from each of the 31 local EMS agencies.  Injured patient data will be linked with other data systems to assist state and local efforts in injury prevention related to traffic safety.
    • Funding has been awarded to CHP to provide a statewide, external and internal Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) environment that efficiently and effectively automates the request from and responses to CHP and Allied Agencies for SWITRS data and reporting.
  • Older Driver Safety
    • Continue involvement in the OTS sponsored 'Older Driver Task Force,' headed now 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. Mobility is crucial to the social, physical and economic health of all Californian's and one's driver's license is a key component. The 'baby boomer' generation, those born between 1946 and 1964, is now approaching maturity, which means the number of older drivers will increase substantially.
  • Motorcycle Safety
    • A statewide Motorcycle Safety Program Assessment will be conducted in September 2008 to review the California's motorcycle safety program, note the program's strengths and accomplishments, and note where improvements can be made
    • A Motorcycle Safety Summit will be held in California to bring together state and national motorcycle safety experts to discuss to enhance motorcycle safety in California.

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  • Continue to implement the strategies outlined in the OTS Performance-based Strategic Plan – 66 percent of the strategies have been implemented.
  • Continue working closely with the Federal Government to ensure California receives its fair share of federal funding.
  • 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. In 2008, OTS will prepare a Feasibility Study Report for submittal to the Department of Finance.
  • 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”.
  • Promote the enhanced “Grants Made Easy,” grant proposal application 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.    In addition, “Grants Made Easy” enables 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • Develop a strategic external communications plan for the entire OTS operation, including integration of planning for grantee external program communications.  The plan will be open-ended, with updating annually.
  • Spotlight traffic safety programs pioneered or uniquely adapted within California.  Effectively communicate the societal benefits garnered from targeting traffic safety practices to local and diverse communities.
  • Develop and implement broad-based and targeted public education programs that not only enlighten, but inspire Californians to engage in prudent traffic safety practices. These efforts will also include campaign specific (e.g., DUI, seat belts, inattention/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 personnel within the grantee frameworks to carry the public 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 heavily on the media, to promote the “Click it or Ticket” seat belt enforcement effort in May and holiday anti-DUI crackdown.  During the national mobilization periods, OTS will promote NHTSA’s slogan “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.”  Take the lead in the continued promotion of the “Report Drunk Drivers. Call 911” message.
  • Support California’s Child Passenger Safety Week in September by providing media relations and technical support to Occupant Protection grantees to encourage the correct and consistent use of child safety and booster seats.
  • Help plan and conduct the 2008 Police Traffic Services Seminar in Anaheim in April, giving OTS grantees the opportunity to share ideas, take an inside look at model programs and meet directly with other grantees and OTS staff.
  • Provide media relations training to appropriate OTS staff to better insure accurate, consistent and professional communications with the media.
  • 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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