For the seventh straight year, the Prevention and Early Intervention Department at the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) has been awarded a $175,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a countywide project to increase pedestrian and bicyclist safety for middle school students.
The project’s goal is to help youth develop attitudes that promote lifelong traffic safety values and build a foundation for making safe decisions when they become teen drivers. New this year, students will also be encouraging elementary students from nearby feeder sites to engage in safe bicycle and pedestrian patterns. SCOE, working with Safety Center Incorporated and other community partners, will use the funding in ongoing efforts with the OTS to increase bicycle helmet compliance for youth, ages 5 to 18.
The grant will fund a comprehensive safety program that teaches valuable skills for all types of road users. The program includes classroom education, presentations and workshops, and bicycle helmets (including proper use and fitting) for students and families in need. The funding is provided by a grant from the California OTS through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “Our roads are increasingly risky for people who walk or ride their bike,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “The goal of this funding is to reverse the growing trend of bicyclist- and pedestrian-involved crashes by educating the public on safe road behaviors.”
Student leaders in the Club Live Program will implement projects throughout Sacramento County. Students will complete a photovoice project (representing their research with photographs), identify safety concerns in their school communities, and provide recommendations for change. They will also educate their peers and parents on the importance of bicycle helmet use, along with bicycle and pedestrian safety, through activities, contests, public service announcements, social media posts, and monthly newsletters. Participants will complete observational surveys before and after the project to measure its effectiveness.