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Host of federal grants target California roadway safety risks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has identified several specific roadway concerns that it believes merit special consideration, and California is the recipient of myriad federal grants focused upon safety-promoting initiatives in those areas.

One federal grant, which goes by the admittedly lengthy tag of Reduce Aggressive Driving Incidents and Tactically Enforce Speed IV, could just as easily have been denoted -- and far more succinctly -- as Don't Provoke the Beast.

That grant targets aggressive driving actions that all too often, and unsurprisingly, cause vehicle accidents. The catalyst in such crashes is frequently a hyped-up motorist with an inordinate fondness for speed and reckless driving behaviors.

Prudent motorists take all possible steps to safely skirt such drivers, of course. The prescription for safety is an ample dose of avoidance and the literal steering clear of any driver with steam coming out of his or her head and a foot stamped hard on the gas pedal at all times.

Here's an appropriate -- and certainly feel-good -- response for an aggrieved driver who is being endangered by a drinking-impaired or would-be race car driver, as recommended by the California Highway Patrol: Discreetly hang back and call 911.

In addition to the speed-related grant, several other accident-reduction initiatives have also received federal funding.

The aforementioned drinking-and-driving concern is being addressed by a program that features a combination of educational presentations and enforcement activities, such as DWI/DUI saturation patrols and checkpoints. The "Have a Good Ride" grant focuses on rendering motorcycling a safer activity across the state.

And bicyclists and pedestrians haven't been forgotten. A year-long grant will promote safety measures for bikers and walkers, two groups that are especially vulnerable every time they are out on state streets and roadways.

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