San Diego, California - Making sure that people who use local roadways to walk or ride their bikes are safe is the focus of a new safety education program the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency will be launching.

A $75,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) will fund the year-long program that includes a variety of educational activities like bike safety rodeos, classroom presentations and community events aimed at teaching youth and adults about traffic rules, rights and responsibilities as a pedestrian and bicyclist. The safety campaign aligns with Live Well San Diego, the County’s vision for healthy, safe and thriving residents and communities.

Bicycle and pedestrian deaths account for 29 percent of all roadway deaths in California, and the number of people killed on foot or on a bicycle is growing at an alarming rate. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows 1,014 bicyclists and pedestrians across the state were killed in 2016, a nearly 30 percent increase from 2012. This equates to nearly three bicycle and pedestrian deaths in California every day.

Educational efforts funded by the OTS grant will promote safe behaviors by pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers, including avoiding distractions like cell phones, looking for parked cars that may be pulling out or opening a door, and making yourself visible by wearing bright clothing during the day and reflective materials at night. Educational components on bicycle and pedestrian safety will be especially geared toward children and older adults.

“Bicycle and pedestrian safety responsibilities go both ways,” OTS Director Rhonda Craft said. “Understanding the rules of the road behind the wheel, on foot or on two wheels helps all roadway users get where they need to go safely.”

Funding for this bicycle and pedestrian safety education program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For more information, contact Catherine Thibault, (619) 544-9255, at Circulate San Diego.