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Community News

Posted on: August 19, 2022

Galveston police enhancing traffic safety enforcement

Galveston police officers are enhancing their traffic safety enforcement measures, with a greater emphasis on patrolling for speeding, running red lights and other traffic violations. 

As part of this effort, the department is allocating more of its resources during the three shifts to traffic safety. By looking for traffic violations, officers are more effective in identifying impaired drivers and ensuring safer roads. 

In 2020, there were 963 DUI-alcohol related fatalities. That means on average, a person in Texas died every nine hours and six minutes because of a traffic crash involving alcohol, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. In Galveston, the police department has performed 421 arrests for impaired driving since January 1, 2021. The department will continue its efforts to stop drunk drivers, however, the focus will not just be on catching bad actors but preventing impaired driving.  

“Our primary goal is prevention,” Police Chief Doug Balli said. “We want drivers to make the right decision before getting behind the wheel, which may mean designating a sober driver or using a taxi or rideshare.”

While the Galveston Police Department has always enforced traffic safety laws, the department is making a concerted effort to enhance that enforcement after five people were killed this month in accidents stemming from alleged drunken driving. The department collects data on where traffic accidents are most prevalent on the island and uses that data to inform its policing efforts.

In addition to the greater traffic safety enforcement, the City of Galveston is placing more effort to prevention with public safety videos and educational campaigns. To see the first PSA, please visit our YouTube channel.  

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