OCTA to Use $75,000 Grant for Bicyclist and Pedestrian Safety
California Office of Traffic Safety grant will help fund safety training and materials
ORANGE – The Orange County Transportation Authority has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety for a year-long community program dedicated to bicycle-skills training and distribution of safety equipment for people walking and biking.
The aim of the program is to increase safety and reduce traffic-related injuries and fatalities. OCTA will use the funding as part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to deliver transportation solutions, including for active transportation – biking, walking and skating.
“OCTA appreciates the strong partnership we have formed with the state’s Office of Traffic Safety to work toward enhancing safety on our streets,” said OCTA CEO Darrell Johnson. “Last year, an OTS grant helped us create the “Play It Safe” videos to remind motorists about the need to share the road with bicyclists and pedestrians, and ongoing grant money will help continue to spread the safety message.”
Activities to be funded by this year’s grant include:
- Classroom and bicycle skills training
- Distribution of bicycle lights and helmets
- Distribution of reflectors for pedestrians
- Training of safety instructors to carry on the message
The need for increased safety training is clear. After falling to a 10-year low in 2010, the number of people killed on roadways has climbed nearly 17 percent across California, with 3,429 fatalities in 2015. Particularly alarming is the rise in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities, which are nearly 25 percent of all traffic deaths.
“Unsafe behaviors, which can be prevented, account for 94 percent of traffic crashes.” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “We are pleased to be able to work with OCTA to provide education and materials that will no doubt improve safety for Orange County residents.”
Bicycle-skills training and distribution of safety materials will occur throughout 2018 with the funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety, which in turn is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For more information on bicycle programs and safety in Orange County, visit octa.net/bike.