Your Monthly Update

December 2022

California Office of Traffic Safety Joins Caltrans, CHP at Launch of 'Kids of Caltrans' Campaign

Move over. Slow down. Save Lives. These are the messages behind the "Kids of Caltrans" public awareness campaign. On Nov. 21, the OTS joined the California Highway Patrol and Caltrans at the Golden 1 Center to kick off the campaign reminding drivers to move over a lane or slow down to safely pass highway workers. Tragically, highway workers, law enforcement officers, emergency personnel and tow truck drivers are killed or injured along California’s roadways every year.

Some of the children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews of Caltrans workers featured in public service announcement (PSA) were on hand for the kickoff event. In video messages that will air statewide through January 2023, they ask drivers to look out for their family members.

“Highway workers – whether it is a Caltrans employee repairing guardrail, a CHP officer assisting with traffic control, or a tow truck driver fixing a flat tire – are helping strangers next to fast-moving traffic,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “These workers are mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles who have loved ones who need them to come home.”

Moving over and slowing down when passing a vehicle stopped on the roadway with flashing lights in California isn’t just a matter of following the law—it is about saving lives. The “Move Over” law exists to provide a safer environment for maintenance and emergency vehicles stopped along roadsides close to fast-moving traffic.

Although all 50 states have “Move Over” laws, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 71% of Americans are not aware of them. In California, failure to obey the “Move Over” law can result in fines up to $1,000, plus points on your driving record.

Since 1921, 191 Caltrans employees have been killed on the job, and one of the biggest hazards to them and anyone working on the roads is from drivers who are not careful.

Safer California Conference Highlights Importance of Youth Safety

At the 2022 Safer California Unintentional Injury Prevention Conference in San Diego, OTS Director Barbara Rooney served as a keynote speaker, emphasizing that the safety of our youth is of the highest importance. Director Rooney also participated as a panelist with Caltrans, the California Department of Public Health, and Safe Kids Worldwide. The workshop, Roadway Safe Systems Approach and California Strategic Highway Safety Plan, focused on the Safe System Approach and how this holistic view of traffic safety can be implemented at the youth, family and community levels.

At the conference, held Nov. 14-15, attendees discussed effective strategies and best practices to reduce child and youth injuries. Topics included risks new teen drivers face and providing access to quality child safety seats and instruction on how to use them correctly.

OTS Launches Go Safely Campaign

in California Airports

Airport travel is soaring and the OTS is sharing their message to Go Safely with millions of passengers heading to their next destination. In four airports throughout the state, digital billboards will prominently display the “Choose A Sober Way to Go” message. The Go Safely campaign will run in areas throughout the Fresno-Yosemite International Airport, Long Beach Airport, Sacramento International Airport and Oakland International Airport.

OTS Grantee Highlight: SafeTREC Releases Video Prioritizing Safety

Too often, bicyclists use the sidewalk because they do not feel safe riding around cars. Without a designated area to ride, bicyclists create unintentional dangers for pedestrians, people with mobility-assistance devices, children, seniors and others.

Watch the latest SafeTREC video, Bicycling On the Sidewalk: Managing Safety for All, to learn how we can prioritize safety – for everyone who uses our roadways – by assessing how roads are designed and making the transportation system safe for all road users from a Safe System perspective.

OTS Federal Fiscal Year 2024 Grant Application Outreach Workshops

Do you have traffic safety ideas that you would like to implement in your area? Come learn more about turning those ideas into action with grant funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). 

Traffic fatalities continue to be a significant problem in California, so let’s work together to save lives! We look forward to having conversations on improving traffic safety in your community.

The OTS will be hosting a series of workshops this month and in January where you can learn more about our grant programs and applying for the Federal Fiscal Year 2024 funding. For registration and additional information, please visit the OTS website

New Employee Spotlight

Steve Delema

The OTS is excited to welcome Steve Delema as a new Law Enforcement Liaison (LEL). In his role, Steve will provide technical assistance to OTS grantees and promote partnerships with law enforcement agencies through coordination and collaboration. He will also serve as a bridge between OTS and law enforcement agencies.

Steve’s law enforcement career spans over 34 years, starting in his youth as a police explorer with the Pacifica Police Department. He joined the Broadmoor Police Department as a police officer and held numerous positions during his 25 years at the Fremont Police Department. Steve served as a field training officer, range instructor, armorer, driving instructor, detective, internal affairs, and traffic officer (the most coveted position in law enforcement). He was promoted to Sergeant in 2008 and 2018 to Lieutenant, where he spent the next couple of years assigned to Patrol as a Watch Commander. Steve retired as a Lieutenant in May.

Steve and his family live in the Bay Area. His wife, Amy, is an educator at a local public school and their son, Ryan, is an Alameda County Deputy Sheriff. He enjoys dirt bike riding, carpentry, home improvement projects and restoring classic vehicles.

We asked Steve a few questions to get to know him.

Answers may have been edited for length and clarity.

What are you looking forward to most in your new role?

Traffic safety has been a huge part of my law enforcement journey. I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to assist with eliminating traffic fatalities and injuries on California roadways in my new position as a Law Enforcement Liaison.

What is your favorite movie?

"Step Brothers"

One day to unplug. No strings attached. What would that day look like?

Amy and I would start our day at Alta Coffee in Newport Beach, then head out to Murrieta for a quick stop at KTM to pick up a new dirt bike. Roll out to world famous Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, spin a few laps, then head North to Daou Vineyards in Paso Robles for wine tasting. Our driver would cruise along Highway 1 toward the Bay Area in a convertible 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air, where we would round out the day with a family dinner at Haps in Pleasanton.

Mikaela Knowles

The OTS is pleased to announce Mikaela Knowles as the new Risky Driving Prevention Branch grant coordinator. Mikaela joined the OTS from Caltrans, where she was a Staff Services Analyst working as an administrative liaison for the Concord field office and the District Office Fleet Coordinator and Labor Compliance Officer.

In her new role, she will work directly with law enforcement agencies. Mikaela is a mom of two young children, Paisley and Hudson. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family.

We asked Mikaela a few questions to get to know her.

Answers may have been edited for length and clarity.


What are you looking forward to most in your new role?

I am most looking forward to taking on new challenges and expanding my knowledge.

What is your favorite movie?

“Mamma Mia”

One day to unplug. No strings attached. What would that day look like?

Spending time at the park or zoo with my husband and kids.

FHWA Announces Latest Round of Innovations Under Every Day Counts Program to Accelerate Innovation in Transportation Industry

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced in a press release the latest round of transportation innovations through the Every Day Counts (EDC) Program (EDC-7). EDC is a state-based program that helps identify and rapidly deploy proven, yet underutilized, innovations that facilitate greater efficiency in project delivery at the state, local and Tribal levels. The U.S. DOT is expanding the EDC model to more modes of transportation. This year’s innovations are being promoted by FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and will improve project delivery across highway, rail, and transit agencies at the state and local level.

“Americans get the best value out of innovations in transportation when they are broadly shared among communities so that good ideas spread across the country,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

EDC-7 innovations will improve safety for all road users, build a sustainable infrastructure for the future and grow an inclusive workforce. Notably, some of the EDC-7 innovations were chosen with multimodal state transportation agencies in mind and are of interest to transit and rail agencies.

“Many of the innovations announced today as part of this forward-thinking program will help make the nation’s transit systems safer, greener, and more equitable,” said Federal Transit Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “We look forward to promoting the findings from these initiatives — from reducing greenhouse gas emissions to leveling the playing field for small businesses to compete for design-build contracts — throughout the transit industry.”

Learn about the EDC Round 7 Innovations

Studies Find Automatic Braking

Can Cut Crashes Over 40%

Photo credit: IIHS

Two new U.S. studies show that automatic emergency braking can cut the number of rear-end automobile crashes in half, and reduce pickup truck crashes by more than 40%, according to a news story by the Associated Press.


The studies released last month, one by a government-auto industry partnership and the other by the insurance industry, each used crash data to make the calculations. Automatic emergency braking can stop vehicles if a crash is imminent or slow them to reduce the severity.


A study by The Partnership for Analytics Research in Traffic Safety compared data on auto equipment with 12 million police-reported crashes from 13 states that was collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the partnership said in a statement. The group studied forward collision warning as well as emergency braking.


The group found front-to-rear crashes were cut 49% when the striking vehicle had forward collision alert plus automatic braking, when compared with vehicles that didn’t have either system. Rear crashes with injuries were cut by 53%, the study found.


Vehicles with forward collision warning systems reduced rear-end crashes by 16% and cut rear crashes with injuries by 19%.


Automatic emergency braking works well in all conditions, even when roadway, weather or lighting conditions were not ideal, the study showed.


The group also looked at lane departure warning systems and lane-keeping systems, which keep vehicles in their lanes. They reduced crashes from cars leaving the roadway by 8% and road-departure crashes that cause injuries by 7%.


“These emerging technologies can substantially reduce the number of crashes and improve safety outcomes,” said Tim Czapp, senior manager for safety at European automaker Stellantis, the industry co-chair of the partnership’s board.


In the other study, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that automatic emergency braking reduces rear crash rates for pickups by 43% and rear-end injury crashes by 42%. Yet pickups are less likely to have automatic braking than cars or SUVs despite posing more danger to other road users, the IIHS found.


“Pickups account for 1 out of 5 passenger vehicles on U.S. roads, and their large size can make them dangerous to people in smaller vehicles or on foot,” the Institute’s Vice President of Research Jessica Cicchino said in a statement.


Some automakers are moving toward a voluntary commitment by 20 companies to make the braking technology standard equipment on 95% of their light-duty models during the current model year that ends next August.

Road to Zero Coalition Opens Applications for Community

Traffic Safety Grants

Applications are now open for the latest round of Community Traffic Safety Grants through the nation’s largest traffic safety coalition, the Road to Zero Coalition, a program managed by the National Safety Council (NSC). In 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provided funding to support three years of grant opportunities for projects that promise to further the Coalition’s lifesaving mission of achieving zero traffic deaths. Grants can be used to kick-start new initiatives or grow existing efforts.

Roadway fatalities are still on the rise, with preliminary NHTSA estimates showing 20,175 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the first half of 2022, an increase of about 0.5% as compared to the same period last year. Furthermore, data continuously demonstrate that the burden of traffic deaths is disproportionately felt by people walking and biking, rural areas and communities of color. NSC and its Road to Zero Coalition aim to reverse this trend by promoting strategies to end roadway deaths, including doubling down on what works, advancing lifesaving technologies and adopting a Safe System approach.

To see examples from previous years’ grants, visit the NSC website. More information about the funding available, including eligibility requirements and starting an application, is available here. To learn more about the Road to Zero Coalition, and to become a member for free, visit

Publications and Resources

Release Templates

New "Go Safely" Public Service Announcements

Law Enforcement Liaison (LEL) Program

OTS Grant Application Outreach Workshops for FFY2024

OTS Logos

The OTS administers traffic safety grants that deliver innovative programs and strives to eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries on California roadways. The OTS is a department under the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).
Grant Program Resources
Traffic Safety Data
Contact the OTS Marketing & Public Affairs Team, 916-708-5128
Follow Us
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Youtube  
Copyright © 2022
OTS Marketing and Public Affairs
All Rights Reserved