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Federal bucks made available for California traffic safety efforts

It's not exactly hard to quickly identify multiple traffic-related risks of outsized proportions that threaten high numbers of California motorists in Ventura County and elsewhere across the state.

Concededly, though, it's a bit more difficult to point to a ready funding source to alleviate those problems.

"Those problems" are, of course, myriad and worrisome across a wide spectrum. They range from aggressive drivers who routinely imperil the safety of other motorists and vehicle occupants to people who get behind the wheel when impaired by drug use or alcohol.

It would be an understatement to note that the California Highway Patrol and other enforcement bodies across the state are routinely on the lookout for catalysts that up the ante for roadways crashes and accidents.

Again, though, the level of vigilance depends greatly on the money that is available to put sufficient numbers of troopers out on state roadways and to promote safety-related educational and enforcement campaigns.

Some extra bucks were just made available.

As noted in a recent article, the CHP is a beneficiary of several federal grants earmarked toward safety promotion efforts and accident reduction on California streets and highways.

One of those grants targets the aforementioned and ubiquitous aggressive driver, who CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow says is a special nemesis on state roads. Another grant spotlights impaired drivers. The CHP will use the extra money -- which will fund a year-long initiative -- to beef up its DWI/DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols.

And no traffic-related safety focus can ignore motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians, of course, whose singular vulnerability always places them at heightened risk in roadway encounters. Additional grant money has also been allotted for educational and enforcement efforts to increase safety for those groups.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is the main funding source for the grants.

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