The Traffic Safety office provides traffic safety educational programs to Westchester County residents through grant funding. Funds are secured for county and local police departments to actively enforce traffic safety laws, such as seat belts, speeding and other aggressive driving behaviors. These grants are funded yearly. The programs are funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with grants from the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC). Grants have been awarded in the five areas outlined below.
Promoting Roadway Safety Program
The Promoting Roadway Safety grant is administered by the Traffic Safety office and coordinates traffic safety outreach with local schools, corporations, senior centers and community groups to educate the public and to promote safe driving behaviors in order to reduce roadway crashes, injuries and fatalities.
The purpose of this program is to educate the public on traffic safety issues and promote safe driving behaviors in order to reduce injuries, fatalities, and crashes. Traffic safety topics include:
- Driver Safety
- Seat Belts
- Child Passenger Safety
- Bicycle safety/in-line skating
- Pedestrian Safety
- School Bus Safety
Selective Traffic Safety Enforcement (STEP) Program
The Selective Traffic Safety Enforcement grant is administered by the Traffic Safety office and provides funds to county and local police departments to actively participate in state-sponsored speeding and aggressive driving campaigns. Currently, all local and county police agencies participate in this program and receive funds.
The purpose of the program is to reduce Westchester’s motor vehicle-related crashes, injuries and fatalities by strictly enforcing traffic safety laws. The project targets speeding and aggressive driving, which includes contributing factors such as, failure to yield right of way, following too closely, unsafe passing or lane change, and disregarding traffic control devices, including red lights and stop sign running.
Buckle Up New York (BUNY) Program
The Buckle Up NY Program provides funds to participating police agencies to strictly enforce the NYS seat belt law. This is a statewide enforcement and public information and education campaign.
The purpose of the program is to save lives and reduce the mean severity of injuries (MSI) by increasing seat belt use. The grant program has mandatory fourteen-day enforcement waves in the months of November and May.
Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Program
The Child Passenger Safety grant program promotes the use of child safety seats and booster seats. Child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% when used correctly, however misuse reduces effectiveness. Recent statistics indicate that more than 90% of child safety seats are used improperly. The agencies participating in this grant must address this issue. Blythedale Children’s Hospital/Safe Kids Coalition, White Plains Hospital Center and thirteen police departments are currently participating in this program. Agencies must have NHTSA certified technicians on staff to participate.
This grant is comprised of four initiatives:
• Permanent Fitting Stations
• Child Passenger Safety Awareness Training
• Child Safety Seat Checks
• Child Safety Seat Distribution and Education Program (low income families)
TraCS – Electronic Ticket and Accident Report Project
TraCS (Traffic and Criminal Software) is a grant program to support police departments by providing funding to purchase computer and other equipment for police vehicles to automate traffic tickets and accident reporting systems, thereby improving traffic records. The data generated will improve the efficiency of traffic records systems of police, DMV and the courts.
The purpose of this program is to reduce highway fatalities, injuries and crashes. Timely and accurate data is essential to develop essential strategies and evaluate program outcomes. The automated production of traffic tickets and accident reports, and the subsequent transmission of data, will help to improve traffic records in NY.