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Friday, June 21, 2024

A police traffic service that cut down car crashes may be coming back after a lack of funding took it off the books.

Gainesville Police Department’s Speed and Aggressive Driving Project reduced accidents by 14 percent when it started in 2010, Sgt. Joe Raulerson said, but there wasn’t any money for it this year.

Now Raulerson, part of the GPD traffic safety team, is asking the Florida Department of Transportation for $54,010 so the program can gear up with new equipment and more manpower.

The program will finance officers to drive around or park near streets that are known to have more crashes and fatalities, he said. Drivers, the idea goes, will pay more attention on the road once they know police are watching.

“A lot of it is visibility,” he said. “Once you see red and blue lights, you know people are more cautious.”

Raulerson said officers will watch for drivers who run red lights, speed and follow the the cars in front of them too closely.

Officers will target Archer Road, University Avenue, 34th Street and Southwest Second Avenue.

He went before the Gainesville City Commission on Thursday to get permission to ask the state for the grant money. Now he has to wait to hear from the FDOT if his department received the funding.

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