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Radical Change in Highway Safety

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 51 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2003 Pages: 58,60,62
Jim Weiss; Mickey Davis
Date Published
July 2003
3 pages
This article describes the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department's (Florida) RADICAL program (Reduce Aggressive Driving in Critical Accident Locations), a strategy designed to reduce the increasing number of vehicle crashes at critical intersections on two primary roads.
Because 9 of the 10 worst intersections in the city were located along just 2 primary roads, the department targeted these 2 roads as Special Enforcement Corridors. The roads were six lanes each and had speed limits that ranged from 45 to 55 miles per hour. The Florida Turnpike and Interstate I-95 also intersected both of the roads. The department decided to use high-profile speed enforcement tactics on the two corridors. Two officers were permanently assigned to these areas, with additional officers used periodically for saturation enforcement at two of the major intersections within the corridors. In addition, a public information campaign was launched through the city's Web site, as well as through local newspapers, so as to alert residents about the RADICAL program. The program's effectiveness was monitored through monthly statistical analysis of traffic violations and crashes at the targeted intersections. In order to fund the program, the department applied for and received a grant of almost $276,000 from the Florida Department of Transportation, using Federal highway safety funding. This funding covered new traffic enforcement equipment and the salaries of two officers. In the third quarter of the program (April-June 2002), citywide traffic crashes were down 7 percent compared to the same quarter of the previous year, and they decreased 8 percent in the targeted corridor.