WASHINGTON, March 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Governors Highway Safety Association has awarded grants totaling $75,000 from the National Road Safety Foundation to the State Highway Safety Offices of Connecticut, new York and Pennsylvania work with community groups to promote safe mobility options for young people such as walking, cycling or scootering.
Traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death among children in United States. Nearly a third of all pedestrian deaths and half of cyclists killed in crashes were children under the age of 15, according to an NYU Langone School of Medicine study, which analyzed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics over a 15-year period. A surge in dangerous driver behaviors during the pandemic — speeding, drunk driving, and distracted — has put the United States on course for the deadliest year on our roads in more than a decade. The impact of dangerous driving has declined disproportionately on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), as noted in a 2021 report GHSA study confirming that BIPOCs are overrepresented in road traffic fatalities.
These new grants will provide resources for community outreach and engagement efforts to make it safer for young people and teens to walk, bike or scooter. In Erie County, Pennsylvania., the funding will be used to implement or expand local programs that create safe walking routes to schools. A grant in Hartford, Conn., will be used to recruit and train young ambassadors to educate their peers about the safety of cyclists and pedestrians. In New York Citythe funding will provide peer-to-peer outreach to promote safety for pedestrians, cyclists and scooters.
“Young people, whether walking, cycling or scootering, due to dangerous motorists, are at risk when sharing the road with drivers,” said jonathan adkins, Executive Director of GHSA. “This funding will allow three states to work with local partners to reach more diverse, low-income communities where walking and bicycling are more common. We hope these grants will encourage more young people to be able to walk, cycle and scooter safely.
Funding for Connecticut will support Watch for Me CT, a partnership between the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Office of Traffic Safety and the Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center that works to reduce traffic accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists. About 1,500 pedestrians and 550 cyclists in the state are struck by drivers each year. The grant will allow the program to recruit and train youth through the Yard Goats Young Ambassadors Program, an after-school initiative run by the Hartford Yard Goats, a minor league affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Teens will be trained to teach cycling and pedestrian safety to their peers, culminating in a community-wide safety event and the creation and distribution of multilingual educational materials. Youth Ambassadors will also receive a free bike, helmet and lights for their commitment to educating their peers. Efforts like these will make cycling the norm and encourage broader systemic changes that will benefit all road users.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Safety Operations will partner with United Way of Erie County to pilot a Safer Walking Routes to School initiative at Iroquois Elementary School, a community school. The Title 1 school serves students from kindergarten through sixth grade, many of whom have to walk busy streets. The project will focus on engaging young people to educate their peers about pedestrian safety, a proven countermeasure that encourages young people to adopt critical safety skills. This includes inviting students of all ages to participate in GPS mapping to identify hazards along commonly used routes to their school to determine the safest routes, and developing and implementing a public awareness and education campaign for students, parents and community members.
In new Yorkthe funds will be used by the Governor’s Highway Safety Committee and the New York City Department of Transportation to conduct multilingual education and outreach in the Bronx, one of the most diverse communities in the country. Teenagers will be recruited and trained to serve as peer-to-peer instructors promoting safety on scooters, skateboards and other micromobility devices. They will receive and provide instruction on proper helmet fit and use, safe riding of bicycles and scooters, and relevant vehicle and traffic safety laws. The young instructors will work through a variety of community organizations, their schools and hospitals to ensure the safety message is heard by their peers, encouraging more people to seek transportation alternatives that don’t involve a car. or a truck.
“These programs will help pave the way for agencies and groups nationwide to help reduce the terrible toll of our young people killed and injured on our roads and highways,” said michelle anderson, chief operating officer of the National Road Safety Foundation, a nonprofit organization that has created and distributed free road safety educational resources for 60 years. “By actively working with diverse and underserved communities and leveraging proven peer-to-peer learning techniques, these programs will help a wide range of young people develop critical active mobility safety skills.”
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing state, territory, District of Colombia and Porto Rico. The GHSA provides leadership and representation for states and territories to improve road safety, influence national policy, improve program management, and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their governors to administer federal and state traffic safety funds and implement state traffic safety plans. To visit ghsa.org for more information or find us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the NRSF
The National Road Safety Foundation, now in its 60th year, produces free videos and educational materials on distracted driving, speeding and aggression, impaired driving, drowsy driving, driver competence , pedestrian safety and a host of other safety issues. It also sponsors contests to inspire teens to promote safe driving among their peers and in their communities, partnering nationally with youth advocacy groups including SADD and FCCLA, and internationally. regional scale with auto shows in Los Angeles, Chicago and washington d.c.
Contact: Adam Snider (GHSA)
202-580-7930, 202-365-8971 (after hours)
David Reich (NRSF)
SOURCE The National Road Safety Foundation