In all of 2015, Garden Grove had four traffic-related fatalities.
It’s not even the end of March, but the city already has matched that total this year, the GGPD reported Tuesday.
In separate incidents, a motorcyclist and a bicyclist were killed on city roads in January.
A pedestrian was fatally crushed by a garbage truck in late February, and a passenger in a car was killed in January in a smashup.
Royce Wimmer, a motor officer with the GGPD, said Tuesday no single factor appears to be behind the upswing, and that the trend appears to be countywide.
“All of the fatalities we’ve had this year have happened in unique circumstances and at different times of the day and in different parts of the city,” Wimmer said.
On Tuesday, March 22, Wimmer, joined by fellow GGPD motor officers Katherine Anderson and Tom Capps, preached the importance of traffic safety for pedestrians and bicyclists to about 200 kindergartners and first-graders at Anderson Elementary School.
The school, near Westminster Avenue and Magnolia Street, has big traffic issues but, thankfully, thus far has not been the scene of any major traffic-related incidents, Wimmer said.
He and his colleagues at the GGPD would like to keep it that way.
So they spent a couple of hours Tuesday morning teaching Anderson kids about helmet, bike and crosswalk safety in a slide-show presentation followed by a hands-on look at their motorcycles.
All of the schoolchildren got a chance to sit on the PD bikes.
For most of the schoolchildren, it was their first interaction with a police officer, Wimmer said.
“You can’t put a value on it,” he said of the kids’ experience.
A $260,000 annual grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to the GGPD helps pay for such school traffic-safety visits as well as DUI saturation patrols and license checkpoints, Wimmer said.
Wimmer’s sister, Bobbie Weber, a first-grade teacher at Anderson Elementary, organized the event.
Here are more photos of the presentation: