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February 2020
Ford Driving Skills For Life Coming to Anaheim Feb. 15 & 16
The OTS, Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and Ford Driving Skills for Life are teaming up to provide free, hands-on training to teen drivers in Anaheim February 15th and 16th.

The training program at Angels Stadium kicks off a 2020 tour featuring 16 cities across the country.

Teens will get behind the wheel with professional instructors to hone their skills in hazard recognition, vehicle handling, as well as speed and space management.

Teens will also be able to understand the dangers of impaired driving through the use of suits that are designed to simulate the effects of impairment.

"Driving is something new and exciting for teens, but it also takes practice," OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. "Ford Driving Skills for Life is a great way for young drivers to gain valuable hands-on training from those with many years of experience. Developing safe habits early prepares teens for the many trips ahead of them."

Young drivers face the greatest risk of getting in a crash compared to all other age groups. In California, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are nearly three times as likely to be in a crash resulting in injury or death compared to other drivers.

First established in 2003, Ford Driving Skills for Life is intended to teach new drivers safe driving skills that go beyond what is taught in standard driver education programs. Since 2003, the program has trained more than 1 million teens across 44 countries.
San Diego asks residents to take pledge to not drive distracted
The city of San Diego and Circulate San Diego are encouraging residents to sign a pledge to not be distracted while driving.

By taking the pledge, drivers commit to ignore text messages, not look at their kids in the back seat, rubberneck, reach for an item, or perform any task that takes their full attention away from the road.

City leaders and Circulate San Diego hope to have 1,000 people take the pledge . The campaign is part of their efforts to end all traffic-related deaths in the city by 2025. The city of San Diego is one of dozens nationwide who have adopted Vision Zero Initiatives, focusing on a variety of education, enforcement and infrastructure measures to improve the safe movement of all modes of transportation.

The OTS currently provides grant funding to San Diego County's Community Action Partnership, which works with Circulate San Diego on Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Scooter Safety education programs.

AAA Report: Rise in Washington state drivers testing positive for marijuana following legalization
More drivers in Washington state involved in deadly crashes tested positive for marijuana, a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found.

The number of drivers involved in deadly crashes in 2017 that tested positive for THC – the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis – more than doubled since recreational marijuana use for adults was legalized in December of 2012.

In the five years after legalization (2013-2017), an average of 18% of all drivers in deadly crashes across Washington tested positive for THC, up from an average of 8.8% before legalization (2008-2012). The average number of THC-positive drivers also increased.

The study did not look at or determine whether THC-positive drivers were at fault in crashes. The study also noted that the presence of detectable THC suggests, but does not necessarily confirm, a person recently used cannabis.

Unlike alcohol, THC blood levels do not directly correlate to impairment. The amount of time it takes for impairing effects to wear off can vary, which makes it all the more important for the OTS and other traffic safety partners to educate the public on the dangers of driving after marijuana use.

"The OTS is actively raising awareness of the dangers and consequences of driving under the influence of drugs, including cannabis," OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. "Focused efforts like our 'Go Safely, California' information campaign encourage people not to drive after using marijuana or any drug that can impair."

2021 Grant Applications

The deadline to submit 2021 grant applications has come and gone! Thank you to all the agencies for their interest in addressing their traffic safety needs.

We received a significant number of applications. Our operations team is beginning the process of reviewing applications.

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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