Your Monthly Update

May/June 2023

OTS Launches #GoSafelyMovement to Address Roadway Crisis and Create Safety Culture

California continues to experience increases in fatalities for both 2021 and 2022. Dangerous driving behaviors such as alcohol-impaired driving (32%) and speeding (35%) represent a majority of the 4,285 fatalities in 2021. The latest NHTSA projections for traffic fatalities in 2022 estimate that 4,407 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in California.

As the number of traffic fatalities on California roadways continues to rise, many people across the state struggle with the loss of a friend or family member or suffer serious injuries and significant hardship from a crash. A disproportionate number of those deaths affect Californians of color and low-income communities.

To address this crisis on our roads, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) announced in a press release the launch of the “Go Safely Movement” campaign. The campaign aims to establish a strong safety culture in California by raising awareness of the roadway crisis, encouraging people to take a Community Call to Action Survey and sign up as a “traffic safety champion” to be more engaged in traffic safety issues.

As of June 15, more than 1,400 people have completed the survey and more than 160 people have committed to being a traffic safety champion for their families and their community. See the live dashboard for results.

Join the Movement

OTS Rolls Out for Bike Safety

The OTS rolled out into communities last month for May is Bike Month, where we participated in events throughout the state to celebrate the health and environmental benefits of riding a bike, and encouraged everyone to look out for one another so that those riding bikes can get to their destinations safely. Bicycle safety is a top priority. California is making significant investments in our transportation infrastructure to make our roads safer for everyone, especially for cyclists.

Kicking off bike month in the Sacramento region, the OTS attended the Breath Bike Rodeo in West Sacramento hosted by the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates and OTS Director Barbara Rooney fastened her helmet for the annual Kick-Off ride at the California Department of Transportation Headquarters. She joined California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) Secretary Toks Omishakin and Caltrans Director Tony Tavares for a leadership bike ride to encourage biking throughout the month. The OTS also attended the Biking is Life safety event in Compton, and a Bike to School Day event at a local elementary school.

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Honoring Public Health and Traffic Safety Leader David R. Ragland

The public health and traffic safety world suffered a deep loss on May 7 with the passing of Dr. David R. Ragland, founder and Co-Director of the UC Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC). In 2000, Ragland partnered with UC Berkeley’s Institute for Transportation Studies (ITS) Director Dr. Martin Wachs to create the University of California Traffic Safety Center (TSC), now UC Berkeley SafeTREC, with a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS).

“We are saddened by the news of Dr. Ragland’s passing,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “David’s contributions to traffic safety are profound and will be felt for generations to come. We express our deepest condolences to David’s family during this difficult time.”

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Funding Opportunity: Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant Program

Applications are now being accepted for the second year of a 5-year, $5 billion Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) grant program through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Cities, towns, counties, Tribal governments and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) are eligible to apply for funds for local projects that improve roadway safety.

In the first round of funding, announced in early February, DOT awarded a record $800 million in Fiscal Year 2022 funding directly to more than 510 communities in rural and urban communities nationwide for roadway safety action planning and implementation grants. California received nearly $133 million for 50 grants throughout the state.

Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. (EST) on Monday, July 10.

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Equity Corner: Integrating Equity into Transportation

Historically, many transportation decisions have disparately impacted individuals living in underserved, disadvantaged, and overburdened communities who have borne the burdens of the transportation system without access to safe transportation.

To help redress disparities in transportation and provide safer travel alternatives, a special issue of Public Roads provides an overview of ongoing actions by the DOT to support equity and enhance mobility options for underserved communities. Public Roads is a quarterly magazine of the Federal Highway Administration.

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New Report: Best Complete Streets Policies 2023

For the first time in four years, Smart Growth America has released a report ranking the safest and most accessible “complete streets” policies passed by cities and counties around the country. This year’s 10 strongest policies include the City of Sacramento, coming in at No. 9. Since 2019, 157 Complete Streets Policies have been implemented in communities throughout the U.S.

Complete Streets is an approach to planning, designing, building, operating, and maintaining streets that enables safe access for all people who need to use them, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Adopting Complete Streets policies is a crucial first step to reducing traffic deaths, improving health equity, reducing air pollution, and rectifying a long history of inequitable transportation practices.

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NHTSA Proposes Automatic Emergency Braking Requirements for New Vehicles

A regulation proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would require automatic emergency braking (AEB) technology on all new passenger cars and light trucks. The proposed rule is expected to dramatically reduce crashes associated with pedestrians and rear-end crashes.


NHTSA projects that the rule would save at least 360 lives a year and reduce injuries by at least 24,000 annually. Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, or BIL, NHTSA was directed to create a rule to establish minimum performance standards for AEB systems, including systems to protect pedestrians that recognize and avoid pedestrians at night. AEB uses cameras and radar to detect when a vehicle is about to crash, then automatically applies the brakes if a driver has not done so.

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Publications and Resources

Release Templates

Go Safely Movement

New "Go Safely" Public Service Announcements

Law Enforcement Liaison (LEL) Program

OTS Funding At a Glance

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
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