UC Berkeley SafeTREC Receives $5.1 Million in Grant Funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety

December 5, 2022

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


UCB SafeTREC Receives $5.1 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 $5,103,550.00 in grant funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to support crucial traffic safety programs.

“Traffic crashes are not inevitable events. It is possible to have safe roadways for all travelers: whether they are walking, rolling, bicycling, driving, or taking transit. We thank the California Office of Traffic Safety for their leadership in providing grants for education, tool development, data analysis, and outreach programs.” said SafeTREC Co-director Jill Cooper. 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): Improve Data Quality & Accessibility: Upgrades the geocoding system to map crash locations for all non-fatal crash data, makes TIMS available in Spanish, and enhances reports and other features of the site to improve data quality and access.

Community Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program (CPBSP): The Community Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program (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) supports ongoing relationships to strengthen 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 Systems, Education, and Technical Assistance for California: Program analyzes statewide fatal and injury traffic crash data and trends; conducts research and provides best practices in traffic records; develops web resources to help stakeholders maximize the use of data to target traffic safety programs; provides technical assistance; conducts 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: Community-level Data Collection and Engagement: Street Story collects local, qualitative information about transportation safety that is often not present in traditional traffic safety datasets, 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, the Safe System/Vision Zero approach to road safety, and the role of media and road safety; upcoming active transportation events, webinars, and funding opportunities; and interactive content like video, blogs and Safety Stories. Users will also be able to access new traffic safety content on: 1) the intersection of safety, accessibility, and equity; 2) the Safe System approach in practice; and 3) examples of infrastructure improvements for informing safety data outreach (including quick-builds, temporary demonstrations, traffic calming, etc.). Overall, the CATSIP website will be enhanced to be a valuable and engaging hub for both new and returning users for promoting safe, equitable and accessible walking, biking and rolling.

Tribal Road Safety Assessments: Conduct 12 Safety Assessments for tribal communities that involve tribal members who identify the issues most relevant to the community; provide resources for funding opportunities and assistance with applying for project funding; and keep surrounding areas informed of actions taken to improve safety in tribal communities.

Data Driven Traffic Safety Heat Map for California: This project aims to develop and release a new interactive web map tool utilizing crash data from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), demographics and US Census data, as well as OTS-led traffic safety activities and grants across California. The tool will provide a statewide and local level color-based map with charts and tables to help identify high risk and underserved populations throughout California.

In California, there were a projected 4,258 traffic deaths in 2021(a nearly 11% increase from the 3,847 people killed in 2020). These are grandparents, parents, children, friends, co-workers. Each traffic death is one too many. In addition, pedestrian deaths rose 5.7 percent from 933 in 2016 to 986 in 2020.

The grant program will run through September 2023.

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