UC Berkeley SafeTREC Receives $4.9 Million in Grant Funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety

December 5, 2023

SafeTREC logo in one line with "Berkeley" in dark blue and "SafeTREC" in gold         California Office of Traffic Safety Logo


UCB SafeTREC Receives $4.9 Million in Grant Funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety

Projects will enhance traffic data collection and analysis, improve active transportation in communities.

Berkeley, Calif. – The UC Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) received $4,946,500 in grant funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to support crucial traffic safety programs.

“We are grateful to the California Office of Traffic Safety for their commitment to equity and the safety of all road users by funding our diverse programs for training future transportation practitioners, providing technical assistance, developing safety data tools, and conducting community outreach,” said SafeTREC Director Julia Griswold. SafeTREC is a research center affiliated with the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and the Institute of Transportation Studies that seeks to inform decision-making and empower communities to improve roadway safety for all.

The grants will support the following projects:

Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS)Upgrades the geocoding system to map crash locations for all non-fatal crash data, translates the platform into Spanish, and enhances reports and other features of the site to improve data quality, timeliness, and access.

Community Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program (CPBSP): The CPBSP is a collection of active transportation community engagement programs that work in communities disproportionately affected by pedestrian and bicycle traffic crashes, many of which are low-income, limited English proficiency, and people of color. The CPBSP aims to reduce fatal and serious injuries to people who walk and bike on California roadways. Using evidence-based approaches to traffic safety, the CPBSP: (1) builds the capacity of community partners by conducting training and outreach to communities throughout the State; (2) strengthens relationships between the community and agencies to achieve sustainable outcomes; and (3) provides tangible resources that communities can use to support safety goals.

Complete Streets Safety Assessments (CSSA): This project will provide free expert technical assistance to California’s local agency staff to reduce the number of fatalities of pedestrians and bicyclists, and to reduce the injuries and severity of crashes on California's roadways.

SafeTREC: Data Analysis, Technical Assistance, Education and Outreach for California: This program analyzes statewide fatal and injury traffic crash data and trends, and researches best practices in preventing fatalities and injuries; develops and disseminates resources to help stakeholders maximize the use of data to target traffic safety programs; conducts technical assistance, outreach and education with professional and community stakeholders to increase knowledge and awareness of safety best practices and traffic fatality and injury risks; and educates the next generation of traffic safety professionals with expertise in and commitment to traffic safety.

Street Story: Promoting Community Engagement with Crowdsourced Data: Street Story collects local, qualitative information about transportation safety that is often not present in traditional traffic safety datasets. The platform is available in English and Spanish, and allows users to query and see publicly accessible, downloadable maps and tables that can be used by agencies, organizations and members of the public to better understand local safety issues and to engage community members. This project will expand on this tool and increase efforts to crowdsource data on 1) crashes; 2) near misses; 3) dangerous areas; or 4) areas safer for road users.

CATSIP: California Active Transportation Safety Website: This project will update and enhance CATSIP with: county-wide pedestrian and bicycle data, California laws and policies; expanded resources on micromobility, safety, accessibility, and equity, the Vision Zero/Safe System approach to road safety; infrastructure improvements for informing safety data outreach; the role of media in road safety; upcoming active transportation events and funding opportunities; and interactive content like video, blogs and Safety Stories. Users will also be able to access new crash data resources, tools and data visualizations.

Data Driven Traffic Safety Heat Map for California: This project supports a data-driven approach to identifying high risk and underserved populations throughout California. This project will upgrade and maintain the Traffic Safety Heat Map with updated safety program activities, adding newly approved OTS funded grants as a variable, and developing a census tract level heat map feature.

In California, there were a projected 4,407 traffic deaths in 2022 (a nearly 3% increase from the 4,285 people killed in 2021). In addition, there were 1,100 pedestrian deaths in 2022. “These are grandparents, parents, children, friends, co-workers,” said Griswold. “Each traffic death is one too many.”

The grant program will run through September 2024.

Funding for these programs was provided by grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.