The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) has awarded the San Benito County Public Health Services (PHS) with a $25,000 grant for a year-long program that raises public awareness efforts to prevent pedestrian and bicycle related deaths and injuries.
The grant will provide opportunities to combat pedestrian and bicycle fatalities and injuries through educational and outreach campaigns for all ages, from youth through seniors. These campaigns include conducting traffic safety fairs, community events and presentations in schools and community-based organizations.
According to 2013-2015 state data, San Benito County has a significant problem with pedestrian and bicycle safety, with 30 pedestrian injuries including 17 involving youth less than 17 years old. Bicycle crashes added an additional 27 injuries, including another 17 under age 17.
The problem of pedestrians being killed or seriously injured on California roadways is bad and growing worse. Most people think that car drivers are usually at fault in pedestrian crashes, but the crash reports show that pedestrian mistakes account for nearly as many crashes as do drivers. There are more people out walking – to get to work, school and shopping or just for fun, exercise, and being outside. In an era where we are promoting walking as a healthy, positive, and community building alternative to driving, walking is becoming increasingly dangerous according to the Office of Traffic Safety.
This grant emphasizes the two most effective ways to change behaviors – education and enforcement. PHS, together with the Office of Traffic Safety, CHP, HPD, local schools and concerned individuals in the county will bring awareness to the dangers pedestrians face so that injuries can be reduced in the county.
For more information regarding this grant, please call Public Health Services at (831) 637-5367 or go to our website at http://hhsa.cosb.us/.