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CHP: Reducing Traffic Fatalities and Injuries Through Cooperation and Partnership

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 54 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2006 Pages: 112-120
Joseph Farrow; Trac Pham
Date Published
July 2006
9 pages
This article describes the California Highway Patrol's (CHP's) collaborative approach to improving traffic safety throughout the State.
California has achieved significant progress in traffic safety over the years despite the increase in its driver population and vehicle miles of travel. This has been done mostly by developing cooperation and partnerships among key organizations with a vested interest in traffic safety. These organizations include businesses; manufacturers; vendors; insurance and healthcare providers; nonprofit community safety organizations; and government agencies at the local, regional, State, national, and international levels. California's traditional traffic safety focus has been on the three major contributors to fatalities and injuries on the roadways, namely, noncompliance with safety-belt laws, driving under the influence (DUI), and speeding. The partnership network is used to apply the four E's of traffic safety--education, enforcement, engineering, and emergency medical services--to the aforementioned contributors to traffic fatalities and injuries. California has a statewide program of aggressive enforcement of safety-belt laws used in combination with a public awareness campaign to increase compliance. Efforts to control DUI fatalities have been helped by strict DUI laws enforced through sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols, combined with periodic high-intensity crackdowns and public-awareness campaigns. In targeting speeders, the CHP and its local traffic law enforcement counterparts have relied on radar/LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and speed trailers to enforce speed limits. There has also been a focus on educating young drivers and their parents about teen driving behavior, which is typically linked to speeding. Several areas of the State have implemented highly publicized "Zero Tolerance" enforcement days to crack down on speeding and call attention to compliance with speed laws.