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Showing a young cyclist how to adjust helmet for proper fit

Public Health Department Receives Grant to Support Traffic Safety

Author: Public Health Department
Date: 11/20/2017 5:04:47 PM

These funds will support our work to ensure that children, pedestrians, and cyclists are as safe as possible on our roads.

The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department has been awarded two grants for a total of $206,000 from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to continue their program aimed at preventing deaths and injuries on our roadways. The grants will aid in the county’s ongoing effort to improve safety.

“These funds will support our work to ensure that children, pedestrians, and cyclists are as safe as possible on our roads," said Dr. Penny Borenstein, Health Officer of the County of San Luis Obispo. "The Office of Traffic Safety grants will provide coordination, collaboration, and education on the importance of child safety seats, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and the dangers of driving under the influence. The efforts will help achieve the County’s vision of a healthy and safe community.”

The grants will support efforts to address traffic safety problems and reduce the number of persons killed and injured in traffic collisions.
The grants will focus on three areas:

  • Child Passenger Safety: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most parents are confident that they have correctly installed their child’s car seat, but in most cases (59%) the seat has not been installed correctly. With this grant, we will work to address this by continuing to offer free car seat inspections and education for all community members, as well as distributing free car seats to low-income residents. In addition, the Public Health Department will give presentations on booster seat use in kindergarten classes and promote public awareness of consequences of leaving children unattended in or around vehicles.
  • Pedestrian Safety: According to the 2014 OTS rankings, San Luis Obispo County ranked 20th in the state for the rate of pedestrians who are injured or killed in accidents. Our educational presentations will focus on reaching community members who have shown high rates of pedestrian motor vehicle crashes, such as elementary students and adults,as well as elderly adults who continue to be a vulnerable population. Additionally, staff members will lead students on Walking School Busses and older adults on Walking Field Trips.
  • Bicycle Safety: According to the 2014 OTS rankings, San Luis Obispo County ranked fourth in the state for victims killed or injured in bicycle accidents. Local County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) data shows people across age groups are practicing unsafe bicycling behavior. Education and training will be offered to local college students as well as adults. Public Health Department staff will also reach out to elementary schools and offer bike rodeos and bike safety assemblies, and distribute helmets to low-income students.

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