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Office of Traffic Safety

Moving Forward - 2010

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. Many of the strategies listed below are identified in California’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). Future plans to improve traffic safety in California include:


  • Alcohol and Other Drugs
    • OTS has designated 2010 as the “Year of the Checkpoint,” marking the significance of an increased commitment to this valuable deterrence and enforcement tool. Grants will be funding considerably more DUI checkpoints than ever before, from 1,740 in 2009 to over 2,500 in 2010, an increase of 44 percent. The CHP will be conducting more checkpoints in 2010 than in the previous 10 years.
    • 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
    • In 2009, OTS targeted, for the first time, California’s “Top 50 DUI Cities” for more 2010 DUI checkpoints. As a result of OTS’ efforts, the “Top 50 Cities” plan to conduct 973 DUI checkpoints in 2010 – significantly more than the 605 they conducted in 2009. (SHSP Action 1.01) 
    • Fund 12 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 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 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. A long-term goal of OTS has been realized, with 98 percent of the state’s population now blanketed by a DUI Avoid program. With the recent addition of El Dorado County, a total of 42 counties involving 553 law enforcement agencies and CHP area commands are participating in the program. (SHSP Action 1.1)
    • Fund the implementation of “Live DUI Courts,” “Live DUI Sentencing,” and “Every 15 Minutes” programs in high schools throughout the state. 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. 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. (SHSP Action 6.5
    • Fund six “DUI Only Courts” in California. Courts are now operational in Orange (4), Sonoma, and San Joaquin counties. Prior to 2008, there were only three DUI courts in California. (SHSP Action 1.5)
    • Fund the statewide TSRP program, which serves all counties in the state of California. The TSRP program has established five “resource centers,” a DUI Prosecutor mentoring program, and a specialized DUI prosecution training program. The TSRP will educate prosecutor offices about the benefits of vertical prosecution in DUI cases and promote the need in establishing DUI vertical prosecution units. The TSRP will have more integrated training outreach to law enforcement, a tactic which has shown very positive results in 2009. (SHSP Action 1.3)
    • Fund the UCDMC to develop a uniform and consistent system for hospital staff to notify law enforcement upon the arrival of a person who has been in a traffic collision in which alcohol may have been involved. Efforts are being made in the pursuit of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule (HIPAA) interpretation from the Attorney General regarding physician reporting of patients who were drivers injured in DUI collisions. (SHSP Action 1.6)
    • Working with the California District Attorneys Association, OTS will fund and coordinate a statewide “Vehicular Homicide Seminar,” in the spring of 2010, for 100 law enforcement personnel and 100 prosecutors from across the state of California who handle misdemeanor or felony vehicular homicides cases. The course, coordinated by the California Traffic 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 vehicular fatalities. (SHSP Action 1.4 and 1.17)
    • Collaborate with the DMV, Department of Public Health, and the UCDMC to streamline the confidential morbidity reporting process, pursuant to Health & Safety Code Section 103900, used to report to local health departments cases involving lapses of consciousness, Alzheimer’s disease or other conditions which may impair the ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. The intent of this code is to notify DMV of drivers who may potentially present a public safety hazard while driving and allow for a driver examination to take place. In 2010, phase two will be initiated using both current reporting methods; the existing Confidential Morbidity Report form and the online form provided by the county. Physicians will be requested to give all forms to the unit assistants, who will fax first to the county health department as usual, then fax to DMV Driver Safety Unit. Collection and recording of forms will take place as in phase one. The additional element of physician education to this observational survey remains open for discussion at this time.
    • Fund adult screening and brief interventions with emergency department patients to include adolescent patients with a positive blood alcohol level at four trauma centers in the greater Sacramento region: Kaiser Permanente in South Sacramento, Mercy San Juan, Sutter Roseville and UCDMC. This project provides adolescent patients who were intoxicated and their parents with a “brief intervention” and resources for treatment in Sacramento County. (SHSP Action 1.9)
    • Promote 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. (SHSP Action 3.3)
  • Occupant Protection /Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety
    • Fund the statewide implementation of “Next Generation - Click It or Ticket” (Next Generation CIOT), in which the CHP and local law enforcement agencies will migrate from a single two-week well-publicized enforcement mobilization annually to two mobilizations in November and May. In addition, the Next Generation CIOT campaign will promote sustained seat belt enforcement, a program in which state and local law enforcement agencies representing at least 50 percent of California’s population or serving geographic subdivisions that account for at least 50 percent of unbelted fatal vehicle occupants will conduct intensified monthly enforcement efforts during both daytime and nighttime hours. (SHSP Action 4.2)
    • Fund, at “no cost” to cities and counties, “Pedestrian Safety Assessments” (PSA) conducted by engineers with the University of California at 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. Fifteen PSA’s are planned for 2010. (SHSP Action 8.4)
    • 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 grants 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. (SHSP Action 8.2)
  • 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.
  • Traffic Records
    • In September-October 2010, a team of national experts will conduct a statewide assessment of California’s Traffic Records program. OTS is working closely with the CHP and NHTSA to coordinate the assessment.
    • Fund County Engineering Departments to purchase a Traffic Collision Database System. The system helps engineering departments improve safety, data collection, access, and analysis. Additionally, the system does collision pattern diagramming and produces collision location mapping on Google Earth and ESRI GIS mapping products.
    • 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, DUI arrest, and collision reporting 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 mapping and use of GPS coordinates for collision reports, 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.
    • Fund the California Department of Public Health to better understand current knowledge gaps and begin working towards integrating data sets like SWITRS, pre-hospital records, emergency department records, hospital inpatient records, and death data. (SHSP Action 16.4)
    • Fund 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. (SHSP Action 16.2
    • Fund the CHP to allow for timely, statewide, online submission of traffic collision reports to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) by CHP and allied agencies. (SHSP Action 16.1)
    • Fund the DMV to assess, improve, and monitor the accuracy and timeliness of DUI conviction data submitted to the DMV database by the courts. (SHSP Action 16.6)
    • Research is one of the keys to development of successful strategies to reduce fatal and injury collisions. Currently in California, SWITRS is the primary source of collision data used by public and private researchers. In order to improve the quality of the data collected, the Traffic Records Coordinating Committee (TRCC) is soliciting and reviewing recommendations for the update of the Traffic Collision Report forms, SWITRS information retention, and the California Traffic Records Strategic plan. These recommendations will then be forwarded to CHP for final review and implementation
  • 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). 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
  • Motorcycle Safety
    • 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.
    • Fund focused public awareness and enforcement campaigns by CHP in four counties 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
  • Distracted Drivers
    • OTS and CHP will co-lead a new challenge area as part of the SHSP. Distraction from the primary task of driving presents a serious and potentially deadly danger. There has been increased attention on the danger of distracted driving recently, specifically on the dangers of cell phone use and texting while driving. As co-lead, OTS will coordinate the development of strategies and tactics, as well as help implement the Action Items to combat crashes involving distracted drivers.
    • OTS will coordinate a new public awareness pilot program campaign in Sacramento County. The 'Lookieloo' campaign will strive to lessen the number of secondary crashes on area freeways by convincing drivers to keep their attention on the road ahead, rather than distractions from primary crashes, emergency responders, and other roadway distractions. OTS will partner with Caltrans, DMV, CHP and area media to successfully undertake the campaign and will evaluate the outcomes to determine the efficacy of expanding to other regions.

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  • To continue to move forward with implementing a web-based electronic grants management system that will allow agencies to apply for grants online and provide grantees with the ability to submit claims, submit QPRs and generally manage their grants through a web-based interface. Steps expected to be completed in 2010/2011 include receiving approval on the Feasibility Study Report, completing the procurement process, and customizing and implementing the system.
  • Implement an OTS Intranet as a tool to organize and display internal information.
  • 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 working closely with the Federal Government to ensure California receives its fair share of federal funding.
  • 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

  • Enter into and strategically expand strategies 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. Develop and implement a Facebook presence designed to be a public engagement portal. The site will include such engagement tactics as viewer contests, gift card offers, pledge badges, quizzes and coupons, all with traffic safety themes.
  • Expand the number and range of fixed roadway signs that promote the “Click It or Ticket” and “Report Drunk Drivers. Call 911” messages.
  • Significantly expand relationships with billboard and commercial changeable message sign companies to highlight OTS-promoted traffic safety messages at greatly reduced or no cost
  • 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 “Next Generation - Click it or Ticket” seat belt enforcement effort in November and May, and the holiday DUI Crackdown. During the national mobilization periods, OTS will promote NHTSA’s slogan “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.” and the “Report Drunk Drivers. Call 911” message
  • 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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