UCB SafeTREC Receives $3.66 Million in Grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety

January 4, 2019

10 separate projects address crucial traffic safety issues for the safety of road users in California.

(Berkeley, Calif., January 4, 2019) – The Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (UCB SafeTREC) announced today 10 grants for 2018-19 from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to support crucial traffic safety programs.

California Office of Traffic Safety Logo“Traffic crashes are a leading, but preventable cause of death. We thank the California Office of Traffic Safety for their leadership in providing grants for educational, data and outreach programs – all with the goal of reducing deaths and injuries on our roadways,” 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 reduce transportation-related injuries and fatalities through research, education, outreach and community service.

The $3,663,000 in grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety for the period of October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019 will provide support for the following 10 SafeTREC projects: 

  1. Tribal Safety Data Collection Project: This project will continue to provide guidance and assistance to improve the quality and quantity of traffic collision data collected on and near tribal areas. SafeTREC will work in collaboration with the National Indian Justice Center (NIJC) to enhance the capacity of tribal entities to collect crash data and submit this data to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Record System (SWITRS) and use SWITRS data to conduct traffic safety analyses on tribal lands.

  2. Community Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program (CPBSP): This project features community-based workshops, training and technical assistance on pedestrian and bicycle-related safety best practices. This program will focus on ensuring equity and targets communities with higher than average pedestrian or bicycle injury collisions or observed problems; e.g., near-misses, unsafe conditions with high volumes of pedestrians, including older adults and children/youth.

  3. Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS): Funding for this web-based program will include enhancements to TIMS collision query and mapping by utilizing roadway functional classifications, and updates and improvements to the safety performance measures target setting tool.

  4. Analysis of Local Transportation Agency Policies for Local Collision Data: With this grant, SafeTREC will conduct an analysis to survey and summarize local agency practices accessing and maintaining collision data and provide recommendations to improve data usefulness and quality.

  5. Traffic Collision Mapping and Analysis Tool: With this grant, updates and improvements will be made to the web-based tool SafeTREC developed to provide mapping capability at any geographic level for a variety of relevant traffic crash or injury variables.

  6. CATSIP: With this grant, SafeTREC will enhance and expand the reach of the California Active Transportation Safety Information Pages (CATSIP) Website by continuing to provide up-to-date educational resources about pedestrian and bicycle safety; increasing the availability and scope of active transportation safety resources for practitioners, local agencies, and other stakeholders; improving the usability and relevance of resources to users; and featuring blogs, videos and interactive content, combined with stories of success to showcase how communities are making walking and biking safer.

  7. Technical Assistance, Education, Data and Outreach to Promote Traffic Safety in California: This grant will allow SafeTREC to employ key srategies to reduce traffic related fatalities and injuries. Major activities will be to: a) Analyze statewide fatal and injury traffic collision data and trends; b) Research best practices in preventing fatalities and injuries; c) Develop web-based tools and use web resources to analyze and present data; d) Work with stakeholders to develop and disseminate information and resources on fatalities and severe injuries in California; e) Provide technical assistance to local, regional, and state partners; f) Conduct outreach and educational programs and activities with professional and community stakeholders to increase knowledge and awareness of traffic fatalities; and g) Educate the next generation of traffic safety professionals.

  8. Pedestrian and Bicycle Collision Typing to Identify Safety Strategies: With this grant, SafeTREC will analyze collision reports for pedestrian and bicycle-involved collisions, identify the most common collision types for each mode, develop safety recommendations for collision reduction, and disseminate recommendations to stakeholders throughout the state.

  9. Complete Streets Safety Assessments: With this grant, SafeTREC will conduct safety assessments in communities with high numbers or rates of pedestrian and/or bicycle related collisions. Complete Streets evaluators will work with cities to analyze safety concerns and develop recommendations to improve safety in those areas.

  10. Street Story: Enhancing Crowdsourced Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Data: For this project, SafeTREC will conduct outreach with community groups, organizations and agencies across California to use the Street Story tool to collect and compile personal experiences information about transportation safety issues. Reports can be generated to provide a qualitative picture of safety concerns in an area.

Despite national and statewide progress over the last 10 years, there were 3,602 traffic deaths across the state in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Also alarming is the fact that pedestrian deaths that year accounted for 24 percent of all traffic fatalities. While everyone is at risk of being killed or injured in an auto collision, certain populations like children, teens, seniors and disadvantaged communities face disproportionate risk.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with UC Berkeley SafeTREC on programs that help save lives and improve the safe movement of people using all modes of transportation,” OTS Director Rhonda Craft said.

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