SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic. The grant will be used for special enforcement and public awareness efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries.

“I am encouraged by the continued support from the California Office of Traffic Safety and its commitment towards promoting safety on the roadways in Santa Monica.” said Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks. “The grant will assist the department in providing several methods towards improving traffic and pedestrian safety.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of people killed in roadway related accidents rose 17 percent in 2015. There also has been a 6-year rise in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities.

Growing fears about the use of technology and impaired driving because drugs have been distractions behind the wheel.

“Years of research tell us that enforcement and education work best jointly to combat unsafe driving,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “This grant brings both tactics together, with the Office of Traffic Safety and the Santa Monica Police Department working in concert to help keep the streets and highways safe across Santa Monica and the state.”

Several of the activities the grant will fund include: educational presentations, DUI checkpoints, DUI saturation patrols, bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement, motorcycle safety enforcement, distracted driving enforcement, and seat belt/child safety seat enforcement.

Funding for the program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Written By Jada  Montemarano and Donald Roberts