FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Not that you shouldn’t do it all the time anyway, but drivers in Fort Worth are being advised to buckle up and watch your speed. The Fort Worth Police Department has just beefed up its street patrols.
The additional officers are part of the Comprehensive Selective Traffic Enforcement Program or STEP. Police department spokeswoman Corporal Tracey Knight said the initiative, “Allows us to put more enforcement efforts on our roadways.”
Funding for the additional officers is possible through a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) grant. The grant doesn’t run for a specific amount of time, but is for a specific dollar amount that Knight said, “…is for additional traffic enforcement. When the grant runs out we still have our regular traffic enforcement that will continue as usual.”
Officials with the department say the goal is to save lives and prevent injuries by effectively enforcing traffic laws and prosecuting offenders. Participation in STEP comes just three days after an employee with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office was arrested in the suspected DWI traffic death of 23-year-old nursing student Amy Anders. A 21-year-old male passenger in Anders’ car remains hospitalized in critical condition.
“Those horrible accidents, like we had over the weekend, [usually] have to do with alcohol or excessive speed and if we can reduce those incidents and prevent those accidents from happening I mean, it’s just a win-win for the citizens and for the police department,” Knight said.
Members of the FWPD traffic division will be on the lookout for seatbelt violators and individuals not using child safety seats. Knight said they are also trying to, “Reduce the number of crashes that are caused by excessive speed or alcohol-related, DWI type incidents or just basic people not paying attention to traffic laws.”
According to Fort Worth police, there are statistics proving that when local traffic enforcement is increased, the number of motor vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities decrease.
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