SANTA MONICA—To better protect California’s roadways, the Santa Monica Police Department has been awarded $300,000 in a state grant by the California Offfice of Traffic Saftey (OTC).

Between the 2006 and 2010, the traffic related deaths decreased dramatically, only to climb back up in recent years, according to the SMPD. Deaths involving pedestrian and bike accidents are among the most prevalent types of traffic related injuries and fatalities as a result of technology distractions and drug impairment. The money given will help to fund preventative measures to fight against drunk driving, speeding and collisions at intersections.

OTS Director Rhonda Craft has spoken out about the current state of California’s roadways in a recent statement that will help the Santa Monica Police Department partner with local citizens in creating a safer traffic environment for everyone on the roadways.

“Overall, California’s roadways are among the safest in the nation,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “But to meet future mobility, safety, and accessible transportation objectives, we have to reverse this recent trend in order to reach our common goal – zero deaths on our roadways.  The Office of Traffic Safety and the Santa Monica Police Department want to work with everyone to create a culture of traffic safety across Santa Monica and the state.”

The SMPD will use the money allocated to them, to help make California’s streets a more pleasant experience for everyone. The money will be used to enforce safety laws as well as education.

According to a press release by SMPD, Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks expressed her appreciation to the OTS for their commitment to keep the roadways safe for the entire community.

Canyon News has reached out to SMPD for comment, but did not hear back before print.