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TPD's new DROVE program aims to reduce number of traffic collisions

Officers addressing eastside, midtown issues
Posted at 6:17 AM, Mar 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-11 09:17:41-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Tucson Police started a new program to help combat the number of traffic collisions between East side and Midtown.

The DROVE program was started by Sergeant Mike Allen with the Tucson Police's Motorcycle Division. He said the Tucson Police Department has seen an increase in the amount of traffic collisions and wanted to find a way to help reduce the number.

They're teaming up with motorcycle officers from the East side to look into the combat issues happening between the East side and Midtown.

Those issues include car collisions, distracted driving, speeding, school zone enforcement, etc.

They started this program Wednesday by going to the intersection between Swan and Ft. Lowell.

In the hour and half they were there, they gave out 53 citations: 52 for speeding and 1 for distracted driving.

"We were issuing an average of one minute and 20 seconds," Sergeant Allen said. "So it clearly shows that there is a speeding problem in the city of Tucson. People are driving how ever they feel like they need to drive or want to drive, but we're going to be on the other end issuing them a citation."

Even though they only saw one person in there time out on Wednesday, he said it's still a huge problem in the community.

Tucson and Pima County have an ordinance that allows police offices to pull someone over, whether they're stopped or moving, if they are distracted driving.

"We see distracted driving, it comes in all forms," Sergeant Allen said. "It could be cognitive, where somebody's thinking about what they've got going on at work. It could be eating a bowl of cereal. It could be talking to the kid in the backseat. It could be all kinds of distractions. The low hanging fruit is the cell phone in the hand and that's what we're looking for because that's a violation."

Arizona currently has a statewide bill against texting and driving.

Sergeant Allen said that people driving should just get to wherever they're going because it's not important enough, and it can always wait.

"We're hoping to reduce crashes," Sergeant Allen said. "We're hoping that by getting out there and spreading the message that we are out here, we are writing tickets, people will take that advice and slow down."

The DROVE program will be deployed again on Wednesday, but their location is still undetermined.