Coronavirus (COVID-19) Special Edition
April 2020
Message from the
OTS Director, Barbara Rooney

Dear OTS Grantees,

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is changing our way of life both personally and professionally. During this unprecedented time,
I want to thank all of our traffic safety partners – law enforcement, first responders, and public health departments – that are on the front lines
working tirelessly to protect the public from a rapidly evolving, global crisis.

My team understands that this is a fluid situation with many unknowns that require adjustments to how traffic safety programs are delivered.

In this month's edition of the OTS Tracks newsletter, we wanted to keep you informed on the latest developments as it relates to balancing demands responding to COVID-19 and our goals and objectives addressing behavioral traffic safety issues.

While we navigate these unchartered waters, know that the OTS team is here for you! We are committed to the safety and well-being of our partners and supporting them in any way we can.

Thank you again for your dedication to saving lives and serving the public's best interests. We are honored to work with each and every one of our grantees.

We are all in this together. We will get through this!

Stay safe and healthy,

Barbara Rooney
OTS Director
NHTSA Postpones Traffic Safety Campaigns Over Coronavirus Concerns
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is postponing upcoming traffic safety campaigns, including April's Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Click It or Ticket, and Heatstroke Awareness.

"In order for States to prioritize public health, NHTSA is postponing its currently scheduled traffic safety campaigns," NHTSA announced last month on their Traffic Safety Marketing website. "NHTSA also recognizes that States may have to re-prioritize other actions, and we will re-evaluate other NHTSA-funded activities as warranted in the days ahead."

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the paid media components for the Distracted Driving, Click It or Ticket and Heatstroke Awareness campaigns have been changed. The Heatstroke Awareness campaign is now scheduled to run from July to September. The Distracted Driving media campaign will run October 5-12, and Click It or Ticket will run from Nov. 9 to Nov. 29. The OTS is also postponing our Distracted Driving Awareness paid media campaign. The campaign had been scheduled to run April 6-26.

NHTSA is still working on national enforcement mobilization dates for Distracted Driving and Click It or Ticket, but the OTS and NHTSA will be as flexible as possible with traffic safety programs. We will continue to work with NHTSA on additional guidance for grant-funded activities.

If you have specific questions about grant programs and objectives, contact your grant program coordinator. Grantees should continue to report to their grant coordinator any events, presentations or enforcement operations that are canceled due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.
Grantees Get Creative With Education Programs During COVID-19 Crisis
San Diego County/Circulate SD
While our state remains under a "stay-at home" order, many grantees are shifting education programs to reach audiences digitally. San Diego County's Community Action Partnership and their contractor, Circulate SD , are focusing their messaging on social distancing practices for those out exercising or getting fresh air. They are also working on an informational video about safe walking practices that teachers and parents can show students at home.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
MADD's California chapter is going digital during the COVID-19 crisis, offering "Power of Parents" workshops online to educate parents on ways to have impactful conversations with teens about alcohol. MADD will also host live videos weekly on social media, including messages from teens about the dangers of underage drinking. Working with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), the program aims to inform and educate youth and parents about underage and binge drinking.
Highway Message Signs Direct Public to Stay Safe and Healthy During COVID-19 Crisis
The OTS is working with our partners at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) on statewide messaging encouraging the public to stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The series of educational messages started in response to California's emergency declaration last month for COVID-19. The campaign serves as another way to reach the public and encourage them to do their part to contain the spread of the virus. The messages will appear on a rotational basis.
Reports: Less Drivers on the Road, but More Speeders

With about 40 million people ordered to stay at home, our state's notoriously congested freeways are less crowded, even during rush hour.

However, with less drivers, there are more reports of those on the road going way too fast. The California Highway Patrol's (CHP) Golden Gate Division says speeding citations are on the rise. A March 27 Twitter post showed a series of citations issued for driving over 100 miles an hour! Similar reports of speeders pushing the envelope were reported in the Central Valley and San Diego area. An important reminder that traffic safety is still top of mind for law enforcement, and that lighter traffic is not an excuse for speeding!
#GoodNews Story: San Diego PD Helps
95-Year-Old Man In Need of Food, Groceries
This is a difficult time for all of us, but it is not stopping one of our grantees from going above and beyond to help a man in need.

We thought we would share this #GoodNews story from the San Diego Police Department of officers on a welfare check who did much more than that.

In a video posted March 24, officers helped 95-year-old "Mr. Teo" with grocery shopping, picking up supplies and dinner from a local restaurant.

"This is how we win," San Diego Police said. How we win indeed.

We want to hear more #GoodNews stories, even if it is not traffic safety related, because we could all use some right now! We encourage you to share #GoodNews with the OTS Marketing and Public Affairs team so we can highlight all the great work our public safety partners are doing to help those in need.
ABC Guidance for Alcoholic Beverage Industry

Our partners at the ABC are assisting businesses licensed to sell alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic through a Notice of Regulatory Relief . The notice covers topics like return of alcoholic beverages, sales of alcohol to go, off-sale transactions, and deliveries to customers. It is all an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, protect the public and help with the economic impact to the alcohol industry.

The ABC has also developed a Guidance by License Type tool and a Frequently Asked Questions web page regarding alcohol.
The California Office of Traffic Safety administers funding for traffic safety programs statewide with the goal of reducing crashes that result in deaths, injuries, and economic losses. The OTS is a department under the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) .
Contact the OTS Marketing & Public Affairs Team 916-509-3030