Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

UPDATE: Officers are Aggressive on Aggressive Driving!

UPDATE: Officers are Aggressive on Aggressive Driving!

    April 19, 2011 - Boise Police just completed a 12-day campaign partnering with the Idaho Transportation Department targeting aggressive drivers.

    During the campaign, that began Thursday, April 7th and ran through yesterday, Monday, April 18th, Boise officers wrote 1882 traffic citations. 71% of the citations were written for speeding.

    "We know that crashes where speed is a factor are the worst for injuries and deaths," said Officer Eric Simunich, a traffic safety officer with the Boise Police Motors Unit. "Not only our experience, but statistics show that more than half of crashes that involve a speeding driver result in serious injuries or worse. It's something we all hate to see on our roads and we want to educate people to stop it."

       Boise Police received more than $28,000 from the grant to pay for officer overtime focused on aggressive driving enforcement. The department also received more than $3,000 in grant funds to pay for traffic safety equipment, including new radar devices for patrol and flashlights for officers working traffic control.

      The recent aggressive driving campaign combined education, including a large-scale traffic safety media campaign sponsored by ITD, with the additional enforcement. In addition to billboards, radio and TV ads seen statewide and sponsored by ITD, Boise Police dedicated much of their social networking presence on Facebook and Twitter daily traffic safety tips and reminders about the extra patrols. The department even used Twitter to let motorists know exactly where the traffic patrols were focused.

      "We know we were visible, we heard that from a lot of people that they saw the patrols. But for drivers that didn't get the message, they got a ticket if we spotted them driving dangerously."  said Officer Kyle Wills of the Boise Police Motors Unit.

    "We see it every day, a driver who's speeding is also likely to be tailgating, pushing yellow lights and failing to yield, all behaviors that compound the risk being involved in a crash where people get hurt. That's why we're out there doing enforcement, doing media, all to try and keep our roads safe." said Officer Wills.

   Citations written by Boise PD during the April 7 - 18 Aggressive Driving Enforcement Campaign:

  • Speeding: 1328
  • Seat belt violations: 285
  • Uninsured motorists: 207
  • Suspended licenses: 9
  • Other moving/non-moving violations: 53

    Boise Police want to remind motorists that although the media and overtime campaign has stopped, traffic safety enforcement has not. 

    "Traffic safety is definitely a priority for our department because we know it's a priority for our citizens," said Officer Wills. "That's our job day in and day out. If people get where they're going safely, hopefully it's because making traffic safety a priority does make a difference." 

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  Boise, April 7, 2011 - Boise Police have partnered with the Idaho Transportation Department on an aggressive driving education and enforcement campaign beginning today and running through April 18th. Law enforcement agencies throughout Idaho are stepping up patrols to stop speeders on Idaho roadways.

    "This is all about saving lives," said Officer Eric Simunich, a traffic safety officer with the Boise Police Motors Unit. "A lot of the injury crashes we respond to are caused by speeding."

    "These campaigns with ITD are extremely helpful in getting the message out to our community that their safety on the road is a priority. ITD uses media to send out these critical, potentially life saving traffic safety messages, and they offer police agencies like Boise grants to pay for extra patrols for more officers to work the streets. Our goal is to strengthen those traffic safety messages by backing them up with very visible enforcement. It's a great partnership that we really think makes a difference improving traffic safety." said Officer Simunich

       The campaign focuses on the message Stop Speeding Before it Stops You. The message has been on billboards, radio and television ads for the past several days throughout the state. Grants from ITD's Office of Highway Safety then helps local police agencies reinforce the safety messages by paying for more officers on the roads, something police agencies call high-visibility enforcement aimed at reducing traffic crashes. 

       “We want motorists to know that doing simple things like obeying traffic signs, waiting for other drivers, or just slowing down can save your life and the lives of others,” said Cecilia Awusie, with ITD’s Office of Highway Safety.  

    Idaho statistics, courtesy of the Idaho Transportation Departments: 

  • Over the last three years (2008-2010), 32% of all traffic fatalities in Idaho and 21% of all serious injuries resulted from speed-related crashes. 
  • In the same time period, speed-related crashes resulted in 214 fatalities and 883 serious injuries. 
  • Speed was a factor in 36% of all aggressive driving crashes, but was a factor in 72% of the fatal aggressive driving crashes.

    The education and enforcement campaign is funded by a federal grant administered by ITD. The campaign is part of the department's commitment to achieve a goal of zero deaths on Idaho’s highways and Boise Police are proud to participate.