The most common complaint among citizens of the City of Grants Pass is traffic-related issues. To help combat the problem, the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety re-established the use of Traffic Officers in 2001. Currently, Officers Dennis Burge and Scott Williams are members of the Traffic Team.
Traffic Officers have taken a proactive approach to traffic-related issues. Through grant opportunities, the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety has been able to participate in several traffic operations such as 3 Flags, DUI enforcement, pedestrian / crosswalk enforcement, and speed enforcement within the Highway 199 Safety Corridor. The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety was also one of the first agencies in the United States to use the Distance Between Cars (DBC) technology. This technology allows officers to seek out aggressive drivers who tailgate.
The goal of traffic officers is not only to seek out aggressive drivers or issue citations for traffic safety laws, but to also educate the public regarding traffic related issues and alert the public to areas of concern.
When concerns about speed-related issues in neighborhoods, near parks, or in school zones arise, the traffic officers will place a Radar Trailer in the area. In order to determine how severe a problem might be, the traffic officers will call on the assistance of the Auxiliary Unit. Members of the Auxiliary Unit have been trained to use radar and in conducting traffic surveys.
Weather permitting, traffic officers can be seen patrolling the streets on Honda motorcycles. The motorcycles allow the officer the ability to maneuver through traffic congestion. The majority of the time, they can be found focusing their attention on high traffic areas, such as the Highway 199 Safety Corridor or locations of frequent traffic crashes. This focused attention has helped decrease the number of red light violators and traffic crashes in problem areas.
Exact Causes Training
Traffic officers have been trained to investigate and reconstruct "exact causes" crashes. This specialized training allows the officers to determine the exact cause of a crash through a method of reconstructing the crash site.
Child Seat Safety
Dennis Burge and Scott Williams are child safety seat technicians. They are joined with CSO Jennifer Souza, Officer Lesley Donaghy, and Dispatcher Tyler Johnson and Company Officer Justin Miller as technicians within the Public Safety Department.
This task does not come easy and their titles are definitely something we are proud of. Public Safety presently has Technicians and Specialists (both Fire and Police staff) who are trained in child seat safety. They help the public by assuring child safety seats are properly installed. Those staff require their skills be re-certified or they will risk losing their certification. See the Child Safety Seat Program page for more information child safety seat inspection and distribution events.
"Move Over" - It's the Law
Drivers must now move over (PDF) to a non-adjacent lane when approaching the rear of a tow truck or roadside assistance vehicle that is providing assistance to a disabled vehicle on the roadway. The original law covers police, fire, and ambulance vehicles.
Now, you must move over if possible to another available lane (or slow down if you can't move over or if the move would be unsafe) when approaching the rear of an emergency vehicle, tow truck, or roadside assistance vehicle that has it's amber, red, or blue flashers activated.
This law requires drivers to slow down at least 5 miles per hour below the posted speed if making a lane change (moving over) is unsafe or impossible (i.e., a 2-lane road).