Your Monthly Update
June 2020
Speeding Concerns Mount: Citations For 100+ MPH Double During COVID-19 Pandemic
Despite statewide efforts to crack down on speeding drivers, the amount of drivers cited for going over 100 miles per hour continues to climb.

According to the latest numbers from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), many drivers are not on their best behavior when it comes to following the speed limit.

From March 19 when the state's stay-at-home order first went into effect to April 30, the CHP issued 4,000 citations for speeding in excess of 100 miles per hour, which is more than double (113%) over the same time period last year.

"Pandemic or no pandemic, open or free-flowing traffic, speeding is never acceptable," OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. "We are already facing an incalculable loss, and we want everyone on the road to think of their families before exhibiting such risky, reckless behavior."

The OTS is developing a new awareness and education campaign about the dangers of speeding, which is a traffic safety priority for highway safety offices across the country.

While more drivers are taking advantage of open roads to speed, there is a positive impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on roadways: crashes and DUI arrests are down.

According to preliminary data from the CHP's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there was a 75% decline in crashes from March 19 to April 30 compared to the same period last year, as well as a 88% decline in the number of people killed and 62% decrease in people injured in crashes.

DUI arrests made by CHP officers decreased by almost half (42%) for the months of March and April, from 7.224 in 2019 to 4,223 in 2020.
State Allows Some Bars, Breweries, and Wineries
to Sell Drinks To-Go
The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) will allow some bars, wineries, distilleries and breweries to sell alcohol to-go during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the relaxed regulations announced in late May, the regulatory relief allows businesses that sell alcohol, but do not have their own kitchens, to sell alcohol to-go in sealed containers along with a meal. The alcohol-selling businesses can partner with a meal provider and sell to-go drinks with a meal, allowing them to continue to operate when they were asked to close to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the ABC said.

Since stay-at-home rules related to COVID-19 began in Mid-March, the ABC has provided emergency relief by relaxing multiple state regulations on the sale of alcohol, impacting more than 50,000 alcohol-selling businesses.

In addition to green-lighting meals and alcohol to-go, the ABC is allowing businesses to expand their licensed premises into parking lots, patios and sidewalks in an effort to promote social distancing. The department is also allowing free delivery and alcohol purchases at walk-up windows or in slide-out trays, as well as virtual wine tasting and temporary licensing fee relief.

" We know businesses have suffered as they continue fighting to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said ABC Director Jacob Appelsmith in a press release . “We have heard directly from these businesses that the notices of regulatory relief can give them a boost and help bring more people back to work.”
ABC Looks to Address
Alcohol Delivery
Sales to Minors
The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is proposing an emergency regulation addressing the online purchase and delivery of alcoholic beverages.

Under the emergency action , the ABC would be permitted to conduct minor decoy operations for the off-site purchase of alcohol delivered to customers. The operations are intended to ensure alcohol is only being sold to those of legal drinking age.

Funded by the OTS, the Minor Decoy Program utilizes people under 20 years of age as minor decoys attempting to purchase alcohol from a licensed business. Current ABC regulations do not include the necessary language to allow for enforcement efforts for alcohol deliveries from a licensed business, at the point of delivery. The regulations do not allow minor decoys for online or phone orders in which verification of legal drinking age is required.

"The Department has been receiving complaints regarding ABC licensees and their third-party delivery agents delivering alcoholic beverages without verifying the age or the state of sobriety of the recipient," the ABC proposed emergency action states .

"In some instances, alcoholic beverages were simply left on the doorstep or at the front door...Without visually checking the recipient or the identification of the recipient of the alcoholic beverages or even interacting with the recipient, there is no way for licensees or their delivery agents to determine if the recipient is of legal drinking age or not obviously intoxicated."

The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) is reviewing the regulations. Public comments were accepted through May 26, and a decision whether to approve the emergency action will come later this month.
2020 GHSA Annual Meeting Canceled Due to COVID-19
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has canceled their 2020 annual meeting due to concerns over COVID-19.

"We regret to inform you that the GHSA 2020 Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh has been canceled," GHSA announced to safety partners in an email last month. "[We] explored every possible option to hold the meeting. Given public health concerns and travel bans currently in place in many states, however, we concluded that having an in-person meeting will not be possible in 2020."

This year's meeting was slated to be from Aug. 29 to Sept. 2, and hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

The OTS hosted last year's Annual Meeting in Anaheim and had been working with PennDOT to prepare them for the task of hosting a conference that had more than 700 attendees in 2019.

"We are sorry to hear this year's Annual Meeting has been canceled," OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. "But in order to protect the health and safety of attendees during this historic time, canceling the Annual Meeting is the right decision."

While the 2020 Annual Meeting is canceled, GHSA is planning to host a series of webinars that were initially developed as workshops for the Annual Meeting. GHSA will post more details about their summer webinar series later this month.

GHSA says the 2021 Annual Meeting will go on as planned in Denver. The dates are set for Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, 2021.
Lifesavers Announces 2020 Conference Webinar Series
Lifesavers announced a new webinar series starting this month covering a variety of issues and trends in traffic safety.

The 2020 Lifesavers Conference in Tampa, Fla. was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this month Lifesavers will host the "Lifesavers Conference 2020 Webinar Series."

The webinars will be held throughout June and July, starting June 2 with a webinar on how to effectively implement the Vision Zero approach to traffic safety plans. Other webinar topics include autonomous vehicles, cannabis, GDL laws, rear seat occupant safety and alcohol problem identification.

To register for a webinar , visit the Lifesavers website at

While this year's conference was canceled, the 2021 Lifesavers Conference is scheduled as planned, with the OTS serving as host!

Next year's conference will be from April 25 to April 27 at the Long Beach Convention Center.
Secure Your Load Day
"Paused" Due to COVID-19
The national campaign addressing the dangers of unsecured vehicle loads has been put on pause due to COVID-19.

Secure Your Load Day is traditionally held on June 6th every year, but with a pandemic sweeping the country, media events promoting the campaign are being put on hold.

"During these difficult times that we face now with the Coronavirus, I have wrestled for weeks about this year’s Secure Your Load Day campaign," Secure Your Load Day founder Robin Abel said in an e-mail. "I have decided to air on the side of caution and 'pause' this year’s safety campaign."

A native of the state of Washington, Abel's daughter, Maria, was severely injured in 2004 when a piece of particle board fell from a rented trailer and went through the windshield of the car Abel and her daughter were traveling in.

Since the crash, Abel started Secure Your Load Day as a way to raise awareness about the dangers of unsecured loads. Her efforts led Washington lawmakers to pass "Maria's Law," which makes anyone who fails to secure a load and causes harm to another face jail time and up to $5,000 in fines.

Every state has laws that make unsecured loads illegal, including California, where drivers who fail to secure a load face a $231 fine. A secure load is defined as any cargo that can't slide, shift, fall onto the road or fly into the air.

While major media events have been put on hold, agencies are encouraged to promote the importance of securing loads on social media June 6th using the hashtag #SecureYourLoadDay.

New OTS Education Materials Available
The OTS has new education materials for use by grantees and the public.

All OTS educational materials are available for download on the Media Toolkit section of the Go Safely, California website: .
#GoodNews Stories
This is a difficult time for all of us and we are in need of good news. Here is how our grantees are bringing care, joy and happiness to the communities they serve.
Welcome Back, Toffee!
The CHP's North Sacramento Area office received a message May 20 about a missing plush dog.

Unfortunately, "Toffee" took a dive out the window of a car on I-80 near the Antelope Scales, and he was greatly missed by his number one companion: a special little girl.

A CHP officer went to the area where Toffee was last seen and found Toffee! Toffee lost a leg, but is back with his other furry friends and 3-year-old owner. Job well done CHP and Officer McTaggart!
The California Office of Traffic Safety administers traffic safety grants that deliver innovative programs and eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries on California roadways. The OTS is a department under the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).
Contact the OTS Marketing & Public Affairs Team 916-509-3030