The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) Prevention and Student Services (PASS) Department has been awarded a $160,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long, countywide project to increase pedestrian and bicyclist safety for middle school students.
The goal of the safety project is to help middle school youth develop attitudes that support lifelong traffic safety values and to build a foundation for making safe decisions when they become teen drivers. SCOE, working in partnership with the Safety Center, UC Davis Medical Center's Trauma Prevention and Outreach Program, and other community partners, will use the funding as part of an ongoing effort the Office of Traffic Safety to increase bicycle helmet compliance for youth, ages 5 to 18. The goal is to reduce the number of young bicyclists and pedestrians injured or killed in traffic collisions.
"It's great to get children riding bikes from a young age, but it's important to make sure they and their parents put safety first," said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon. "Parents should encourage helmet use as soon as a child learns to ride a tricycle. We also need to teach our children about safely sharing the road, as bike riders, motorists and pedestrians."
Middle school students (ages 11 to 14), are at particularly high risk of being involved in pedestrian and bicycle crashes that result in injury or fatality, yet there are very few interventions or educational programs provided through schools or community agencies aimed at reducing this risk and increasing safety. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show 9% of fatalities and 20% of injuries in bicycle collisions involve children younger than 16 years of age.
This grant will provide opportunities to help create a culture of traffic safety within the middle school population, their families, and their communities. The funding comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The schools invited to participate in the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program were identified as having high numbers of accidents and collisions in their communities involving youth ages 11 to 14, and demonstrated readiness and willingness to participate in the project.
- Arden Middle School, San Juan U.S.D.
- Edward Harris Middle School, Elk Grove U.S.D.
- Einstein Middle School, Sacramento City U.S.D.
- Gold River (K-8) School, San Juan U.S.D.
- James Rutter Middle School, Elk Grove U.S.D.
- Kingswood (K-8) School, San Juan U.S.D.
- Lichen (K-8) School, San Juan U.S.D.
- Samuel Jackman Middle School, Elk Grove U.S.D.
- Sutter Middle School, Sacramento City U.S.D.
- Will Rogers Middle School, San Juan U.S.D.
- Support to implement school-wide activities to engage students and demonstrate bicycle and pedestrian safety in a fun and interactive way
- Opportunities to participate in activities such as bicycle safety rodeos/clinics, helmet-fitting events, bicycle check-ups, safety "pedal kart" courses, and distracted driving simulator events
- Recognition for completing activities in the form of badges displayed on the campaign website and via social media
- Educational materials and bicycle safety equipment, including bicycle helmets for students in need