Excessive speed and aggressive driving are a major concern on California freeways. A federally funded grant will continue to help support the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) lifesaving grant campaign targeting dangerous driving behaviors.
The goal of the Regulate Aggressive Driving and Reduce Speed (RADARS) VI grant is to decrease traffic crashes attributed to speed and the number of people killed and injured in these crashes. In federal fiscal year 2018-2019, speed was a factor in approximately 45 percent of all fatal and injury-causing crashes in California. That year, 36,036 speed-related crashes killed 335 people and injured 53,060 others.
“Reckless driving behaviors are a significant threat to all who use California’s roadways,” said CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray. “The RADARS grant will provide for a focused education and enforcement campaign targeting speeding motorists and aggressive driving behaviors, including street racing and sideshow activities, to help prevent crashes resulting in death or injury.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, CHP has noted a significant increase in incidents of unsafe driving behaviors: motorists exceeding 100 miles per hour on state highways, illicit street racing and sideshow activities, and speed-related crashes.
Between April 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021, the CHP issued more than 44,500 citations to motorists traveling in excess of 100 MPH. To address the issue, the CHP used federal grant funding to conduct enhanced speed enforcement operations on state routes with a history of speed-related incidents, collaborated with local law enforcement agencies to create street racing and sideshow task forces, and conducted social media campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of speeding, aggressive driving, and street racing. The RADARS grant will allow the CHP to conduct a comparable campaign, which began Oct. l, 2021 and runs through Sept. 30, 2022.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.