Teen driving car.

County of San Luis Obispo Behavioral Health Awarded $100,820 for Youth Traffic Safety Initiatives

Author: Behavioral Health
Date: 1/31/2023 11:31 AM

The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) grant will be used to increase youth education around safe driving.

The County of San Luis Obispo Behavioral Health Department today announced it has received a $100,820 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to increase education among young adults around responsible and safe driving. The Department’s Prevention & Outreach Division will use the funds to raise awareness about the risks of impaired, distracted, and unsafe driving.

Traffic collisions remain the leading cause of death for those 15-24 years old. According to the 2020 California Health Kids Survey, 22% of San Luis Obispo 11th graders reported they had driven a car or been driven by someone else while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“San Luis Obispo has a large number of breweries, wineries, liquor licenses, and cannabis shops compared to other counties of the same size in California,” said Behavioral Health Specialist Hannah Sharon. “When kids are exposed to alcohol and other drugs from a young age, they can become desensitized and not recognize the dangers associated with using those substances, especially while driving. Our goal is to educate young adults on the risks around impaired and distracted driving and help prevent bad habits, crashes, injuries, and other negative life outcomes for our community."

The Youth Traffic Safety Initiative grant will allow funding through September 2023 to support:

  • Educational campaigns online focused on impaired and distracted driving, especially during major national traffic safety events such as the Super Bowl, National Holidays, Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and Summer Enforcement Mobilizations.
  • Ongoing trainings and presentations to middle, high school, and college students encouraging safe driving habits.
  • Outreach at local high-traffic events including high school rallies, Cal Poly Rodeo, community farmers markets, California Mid-State Fair, and local health fairs to increase awareness around safe driving practices.

Funding for the San Luis Obispo County Youth Traffic Safety Initiative is provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Learn more information on San Luis Obispo County Friday Night Live (FNL) programs for youth by visiting slofnl.com.