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CHP program cuts speed-related injuries and deaths

Posted: June 23, 2009 1:59 p.m.
Updated: June 23, 2009 1:59 p.m.
 
SACRAMENTO -- Speed-related collisions involving motorists in California resulting in injury or death are on the decline.

This encouraging news follows the conclusion of the California Highway Patrol's (CHP) year-long project, "Saving Lives in California II" (SLIC II).

Through September 2008, there were 255 deaths, compared to the 2006 baseline totals when there were 290 deaths, a 12.1 decrease. For speed-related injuries, there were 25,584 injuries in 2008 and 30,726 in 2006 baseline totals for a 16.7 decrease.

"The importance of this project cannot be understated," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "Collisions resulting in injury and death, where speed was the primary collision factor, are preventable."

The CHP's SLIC II project incorporated a three-prong strategy for reducing speed-related collisions. The first element was to reduce collisions on state highways. This was accomplished by using Light Detection and Ranging, (LIDAR), radar and added enforcement on the state highways. The second element of the project was to reduce collisions on county roads, using radar trailers, and the third strategy was to reduce motorcycle collisions on all highways.

Officers also enforced seat belt and child safety seat laws. A large portion of the 20,000 citations issued during the project were for lack of seat belt usage.

"Seat belts save lives and prevent injuries," stated Commissioner Farrow. "Don't put your own life at risk or the life of your family or friends. Buckle up and put children in safety seats every time you get in a car."

Public awareness was also an element of campaign. The CHP conducted traffic safety presentations and handed out promotional items regarding curbing speed to participants.

Funding for the project was provided by a $6.16 million grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The CHP plans to continue using grant-funded projects to make California's highways safer for motorists.

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