The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) has been awarded a $1,000,000.00 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to fund continued work on its Go Human traffic safety program next year.
Southern California has some of the highest levels of injuries and fatalities involving people walking and biking in the country. In the six-county SCAG region (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties), more than four people die every day in traffic collisions, on average.
People walking or riding bikes account for 27 percent of those deaths while only comprising 12 percent of all trips. SCAG data shows that 70 percent of all collision are on local roads.
“Traffic safety is a big issue in Southern California, and traffic fatalities involving people walking are on the rise,” said Bill Jahn, President of SCAG. “We launched the Go Human program in 2015, in an effort to reverse this trend, reduce collisions, improve safety for people walking and raise awareness of the importance of traffic safety.”
The new OTS grant will fund continued Go Human activities through September 2020 which include: local community engagement and technical assistance to help local communities integrate safety efforts across the region and through open streets events; social media and digital campaign with new, creative content targeting people who live in high-injury network cities, encouraging viewers to share the content with their friends and family; co-branding and printing of materials for partners who take the Go Human Safety Pledge; the Go Human Kit of Parts, or lending library of resources that partners can use to temporarily demonstrate innovative street design treatments that enhance safety.
The kit includes materials to showcase infrastructure including parklets, curb extensions, pedestrian refuge islands, artistic high visibility crosswalks and protected bike lanes, as well as a community feedback tool.
SCAG will continue to focus outreach efforts on local elected officials and city staff that serve communities disproportionately impacted by collisions.
Co-branded print materials, digital graphics, local community engagement projects, and the Go Human Kit of Parts will help SCAG and its partners reach people who walk, bike, drive and ride scooters at the neighborhood level.
Safety messaging will primarily reach people in disadvantaged communities and areas with high rates of collisions. Distributing safety messaging through city partners will help SCAG and OTS supplement regional advertising with additional donated impressions at a lower cost.
In addition to the elected official and local government staff outreach, SCAG will implement a regional advertising campaign to increase understanding of traffic safety laws and reduce collisions in the region.
This campaign will continue to target drivers, as part of a point of engagement strategy, especially in disadvantaged communities with high collision rates.
“Change can be difficult. Demonstration events help the community get a better idea of how safety improvements could fit appropriately within their communities,” said Kome Ajise, Executive Director of SCAG. “These events are a great way to educate and hear from people in the community who don’t normally attend government meetings or open houses.”
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.