Delray Beach police to reapply for grant to target aggressive drivers

Posted at 5:00 PM, Dec 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-26 23:36:23-05

Among cities of its same size, Delray Beach ranks No. 7 with the most speeders in the state, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.

Delray Beach police have been trying to combat that statistic and were awarded a grant by the Department of Transportation to target aggressive drivers this year.

For seven months, officers have been patrolling busy intersections for longer periods of time.

"The grant provides more opportunity for the officers to be on those roadways and out trying to target drivers to try and get them to slow down," said Sgt. Jeff Rasor, Traffic Unit Supervisor.

The grant awarded the department $50,000 to combat aggressive driving.

The money paid for 12 hours of overtime per week and allowed for the department to increase officer visibility on major intersections like Linton Boulevard and Federal Highway, where drivers frequently make illegal U-turns.

"Our grant ended on Oct. 1, and in December we had two fatalities in our city," added Rasor.

From March to Sept. 30, officers issued 3,745 tickets focusing on speeders and distracted drivers.

"Increase in speeds and distractions, those are probably two of the primary reasons for crashes," added Rasor.

Crash data for the year won't be available till January, but Rasor says the department saw a direct correlation between the program and a decrease in deaths on the road.

If it means officers have to knock on less doors to tell families their loved one died in a crash, they'll keep applying for the grant.

The department was also just approved for a grant to enforce pedestrian and bicyclist safety, which will run until May 2017.