SACRAMENTO — The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will be stepping up its efforts to prevent speed-related collisions and curb aggressive driving.
Driving too fast for conditions or driving aggressively can be costly and life changing, says the CHP. Failing to yield the right of way, making frequent lane changes, and tailgating are signs of aggressive driving.
To help prevent these driving behaviors and save lives, the California Highway Patrol is implementing a year-long statewide campaign to reduce the number of speed and aggressive driving-related collisions.
“Many safe drivers report feeling threatened by aggressive drivers,” says CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Motorists should remain calm, patient, and courteous. Good drivers ensure their own behavior does not endanger, antagonize, or provoke other motorists.”
Speeding, along with aggressive driving, has increasingly become a danger to the motoring public, to pedestrians, and to individuals using alternate forms of transportation, says Farrow. Data from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System in 2012 and 2013 indicates speed was a factor in approximately 43 percent of fatal and injury collisions in the state.
During this same period, more than 26,900 speed-related collisions led to the deaths of 252 people and the injury of approximately 39,000 others. Although speed-related fatalities decreased, the number of speed-related injuries increased by 4.2 percent.
Increased enforcement, along with education, will be beneficial in preventing the number of speed-related collisions, says Farrow.
With the support of a federal traffic safety grant titled Reduce Aggressive Driving Incidents and Tactically Enforce Speed IV, the CHP is determined to educate motorists about the dangers of aggressive driving and to take appropriate enforcement action.
The primary goal of this grant is to reduce, by at least 5 percent, the number of fatal and injury traffic collisions where speed, improper turning, and driving on the wrong side of the road are primary collision factors.
To achieve this goal by Sept. 30, 2016, the CHP will combine statewide targeted enforcement with an active public awareness campaign, which includes at least 600 radar trailer deployments and a minimum of 200 traffic safety presentations throughout the state.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.