The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for a year-long community program dedicated to bicycle-skills training and distribution of safety equipment for people walking and biking. 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,” says OCTA Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, also the county’s Fifth District Supervisor. “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 countywide.”
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. Last year, more than 3,600 people were killed on California roads, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Particularly alarming is the rise in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities, which are nearly 25% of all traffic deaths. With this program, OCTA continues a national effort to increase pedestrian safety and reduce traffic-related fatalities.
“Bicycle and pedestrian safety responsibilities go both ways,” OTS Director Rhonda Craft says. “Our work with OCTA to educate the public on safe roadway behaviors behind the wheel, on foot, or on a bicycle or skateboard will improve safety for Orange County residents.”
Bicycle-skills training and distribution of safety materials will occur throughout 2019. For more information on bicycle programs and safety in Orange County, visit octa.net/bike.