WFPD Offers Vacation Home Checks

vacation-circled-on-calendar-jpgWith many people going out of town for the holidays the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind you that you can set your residence up for a vacation home check.

While you are away on vacation, Sentinels from the WFPD will periodically stop by your home to check for open doors, broken windows or any other suspicious circumstances.  In the event that something out of the ordinary is discovered, you or your listed emergency contact will be contacted immediately.  This is another added security precaution you can utilize to safeguard your possessions and assure your peace of mind while you are on vacation.  This is a free, but invaluable service provided by the WFPD.

Please fill in the form below to request a vacation check.   If you have any questions please contact the Community Services Section at 940-720-5019.

Click here to request your Vacation Patrol Check

Homeowner realizes that the Police Department and the City do not assume any liability for loss or damage to property during specified dates. Homeowner understands there is no guarantee that vacation checks will be done daily, only when Sentinels are available.

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WFPD Releases Year End TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats – Fiscal Year 2017

STEP

The largest portion of traffic safety funding from TxDOT is used for the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) projects, which pay for overtime activities by local law enforcement to reduce the incidence of speeding, driving while intoxicated, failure to use occupant restraint systems, and intersection traffic control violations. Organizations eligible for STEP funds include the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS), sheriff’s offices, constable’s offices and community police departments.

The Wichita Falls Police Department has finalized the Year End FY 2017 (October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2017) TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats:

Adult Seatbelt Citations – 376
Child Safety Seats – 11
Intersection Violations – 812
Speeding – 2069
Other Violations – 641
Arrests – 21
Vehicles Impounded – 37
Hours Worked – 1482.1
Miles Driven – 12989
The Wichita Falls Police Department is currently participating in the FY 2018 TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant (October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018).

WFPD Releases 2017 4th Quarter TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats

636210405772280198-WFPD-STEP

The largest portion of traffic safety funding from TxDOT is used for the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) projects, which pay for overtime activities by local law enforcement to reduce the incidence of speeding, driving while intoxicated, failure to use occupant restraint systems, and intersection traffic control violations. Organizations eligible for STEP funds include the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS), sheriff’s offices, constable’s offices and community police departments.

The Wichita Falls Police Department has finalized the 4th Quarter FY 2017 (July-September) TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats:

Adult Seatbelt Citations – 53
Child Safety Seats – 0
Intersection Violations – 137
Speeding – 389
Other Violations – 96
Arrests – 4
Vehicles Impounded – 3
Hours Worked – 270.8
Miles Driven – 2507

National School Bus Safety Week

2015105624f033e4676This week (October 16-20) is National School Bus Safety Week and the WFPD would like to remind you of the following safety tips:

If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the lights start flashing.

It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

According to Texas statute, a driver – traveling in either direction on a roadway – must stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped and operating a visual signal.

The driver may not proceed until the school bus resumes motion, the operator is signaled by the bus driver to proceed or the visual signal is no longer activated.

If a road is divided only by a left-turning lane, drivers on both sides of the roadway must stop for school buses with alternating red flashing lights activated.

However, if the lanes are separated by an intervening space or physical barrier, only motorists traveling in the same direction as the bus are required to stop.

The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.

Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.

The WFPD Would Like to Remind Motorists: Stop on Red

Stop on RedThe Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind motorists the importance of stopping at a red light.

A crash caused by a driver who runs a red light is more likely to result in serious injury or death. Most people run red lights because they are in a hurry, when in fact they only save seconds. Deaths caused by red light running are increasing at more than three times the rate of increase for all other fatal crashes.

According to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety red light runners cause hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries each year. In 2015, 771 people were killed and an estimated 137,000 were injured in crashes that involved red light running. Over half of those killed were pedestrians, bicyclists and people in other vehicles who were hit by the red light runners.

The Texas Department of Transportation reported in 2015 that over 21,000 crashes occurred in the state that were caused by a driver running a red light; 108 of those crashes resulted in the death of an individual.

In 2016 there were 116 crash reports filed with the WFPD where a driver running a red light was a contributing factor, one of which resulted in a fatality.

Remember to always “Stop on Red.”

Share the Road

sharetheroadThe Hotter’n Hell 100 is fast approaching which means the presence of more cyclists on the roadway.  The Wichita Falls Police Department reminds motorists to share the roadway and be aware.  Here are a few safety tips to remember:

  • Bicyclists have the rights and duties of other vehicle operators:(551.101)

Yes, this means you have to stop at stop signs and red lights, but cars are required to yield right-of-way to a bicycle when appropriate, just as to any other vehicle.

  • Ride near the curb and go in the same direction as other traffic: (551.103)

Near the curb is subjective (we recommend leaving a cushion of about three feet) but the law gives a cyclist the right to take the lane when necessary for safety.

  • At least one hand on the handlebars (two are safer): (551.102c)

One when signaling but two when turning works well.

  • Use hand and arm signals: (545.107)

Point the way you are going, let the other operators know what you want to do.

  • One rider per saddle: (551.102a)

Don’t let your friends share your bike while riding unless you’re both on a tandem.

  • You may ride two abreast as long as you don’t impede traffic: (551.103c)

Racing and taking the lane are special cases.

  • Must have a white light on the front and a red reflector or red light on the rear (for riding at night): (551.104b)

The light is primarily so people can see you coming from the side, where their headlights do not shine on your reflectors. The law, effective as of Sept. 2001, states that a red light can replace a red reflector.

  • Brakes capable of making the braked wheel skid: (551.104a)

Don’t test that front brake to see if the wheel will skid while riding, especially downhill.

It’s That Time of Year Again

back_to_schoolChildren in Wichita Falls and surrounding communities will be returning to school in the next few days. We would like to  remind drivers to be extra cautious as school zones become more active and be aware of school buses that will be making frequent stops.

Following these simple tips can help children reach school safely and help drivers avoid costly fines and tickets.

Tips for Driving in School Zones

  • Put away your cell phone and anything else that may be distracting you as you drive.  A distracted driver is a dangerous driver.
  • Always obey school zone speed limit signs. Remember, traffic fines usually double in school zones.
  • Drop off and pick up your children in your school’s designated areas, not the middle of the street.
  • Keep an eye on children gathered at bus stops.
  • Be alert for children who might dart across the street or between vehicles on their way to school.

Tips for Children Walking or Biking to School

  • Always cross at intersections and designated crosswalks. Look left, right and then left again before proceeding.
  • Look for traffic when stepping off a bus or from behind parked cars.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
  • Always obey crossing guards.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

WFPD Releases 2017 3rd Quarter TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats

636210405772280198-WFPD-STEPThe largest portion of traffic safety funding from TxDOT is used for the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) projects, which pay for overtime activities by local law enforcement to reduce the incidence of speeding, driving while intoxicated, failure to use occupant restraint systems, and intersection traffic control violations. Organizations eligible for STEP funds include the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS), sheriff’s offices, constable’s offices and community police departments.

The Wichita Falls Police Department has finalized the 3rd Quarter FY 2017 (April – June) TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats:

Adult Seatbelt Citations – 107
Child Safety Seats – 2
Intersection Violations – 240
Speeding – 566
Other Violations – 196
Arrests – 9
Vehicles Impounded – 13
Hours Worked – 419.8
Miles Driven – 3,531

Share the Road

sharetheroadThe Hotter’n Hell 100 is fast approaching which means the presence of more cyclists on the roadway.  The Wichita Falls Police Department reminds motorists to share the roadway and be aware.  Here are a few safety tips to remember:

  • Bicyclists have the rights and duties of other vehicle operators:(551.101)

Yes, this means you have to stop at stop signs and red lights, but cars are required to yield right-of-way to a bicycle when appropriate, just as to any other vehicle.

  • Ride near the curb and go in the same direction as other traffic: (551.103)

Near the curb is subjective (we recommend leaving a cushion of about three feet) but the law gives a cyclist the right to take the lane when necessary for safety.

  • At least one hand on the handlebars (two are safer): (551.102c)

One when signaling but two when turning works well.

  • Use hand and arm signals: (545.107)

Point the way you are going, let the other operators know what you want to do.

  • One rider per saddle: (551.102a)

Don’t let your friends share your bike while riding unless you’re both on a tandem.

  • You may ride two abreast as long as you don’t impede traffic: (551.103c)

Racing and taking the lane are special cases.

  • Must have a white light on the front and a red reflector or red light on the rear (for riding at night): (551.104b)

The light is primarily so people can see you coming from the side, where their headlights do not shine on your reflectors. The law, effective as of Sept. 2001, states that a red light can replace a red reflector.

  • Brakes capable of making the braked wheel skid: (551.104a)

Don’t test that front brake to see if the wheel will skid while riding, especially downhill.

WFPD 2017 “Click It or Ticket” Stats

CIOT-BannerSeat belts are the single most effective traffic safety device for preventing death and injury, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of crash injuries by 50 percent. They save lives!

The Wichita Falls Police Department has recently wrapped up the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign. Here are the statistics from the enforcement period May 22 – June 4, 2017:

Adult Seatbelts                        287 citations

Child Safety Seat                     10 citations

Intersections                            9 citations

Speeding                                     1 citation

Other Violations                       82 citations

Arrests                                          0

Hours Worked                            186

Miles Driven                               1,416

Why seatbelts are so important:

Whether you’re the driver, front seat passenger, or back seat passenger, you have to buckle up. It’s a state law and not doing so could cost you up to $200. Want an even better reason? Your seat belt is your number one best defense in case of a crash.

A DEADLY OVERSIGHT.

If you forget to buckle up or choose not to, you’re putting yourself in harm’s way. It’s common that unbuckled passengers get thrown from their vehicle, which all too often rolls over and crushes them.

BACK SEAT DANGER.

Unbelted back seat passengers can become human projectiles in a car crash. They can be tossed around inside the vehicle and even injure or kill those in the front seat.

ATTENTION ALL ADULTS.

Texas law requires drivers and all passengers in a vehicle to be secured by a safety belt. Yes, that means unbuckled adult passengers in the back seat can face fines and court costs of up to $200.

KIDS CAN COST, TOO.

Children younger than eight years old must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. Fines can be as high as $250 plus court costs.

For more information on “Click It or Ticket”, please visit http://www.texasclickitorticket.com/

Buckle Up and Save a Life!