LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) today announced the launch of a new “Safety is Sharing. Safety is Caring.” public awareness campaign. In collaboration with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA), Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the city of Long Beach, the statewide campaign coincides with California’s Pedestrian Safety Month and aims to improve the safety of people who use our roads to bike and walk with the overarching goal of reducing injuries and fatal crashes.
As California and the country continue to experience increased bicycle and pedestrian deaths, the campaign reinforces the principle that safety is a shared responsibility involving all road users. Based on data projections from the Governors Highway Safety Association, 7,508 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the U.S. in 2022, the highest number since 1981. In California, pedestrian and bicycle deaths account for nearly 29% of all traffic deaths.
By focusing on education, awareness and collaborative efforts, the campaign seeks to create a safer environment for everyone who uses California's roadways. The “Safety is Sharing. Safety is Caring.” campaign features a new video in English and Spanish on digital platforms, audio messages on radio and streaming services, and digital billboards.
“We believe that everyone deserves to travel safely, regardless of their mode of transportation,” said OTS Director Barbara Rooney. “The ‘Safety is Sharing. Safety is Caring.’ campaign underscores our commitment to creating a culture of shared responsibility on California's roadways. We are excited to partner with our fellow traffic safety advocates in this critical effort to reduce injuries and deaths.”
“When we talk about safety as a priority, we’re talking about safety for everyone, all of the time, and on every path, road, and highway in our immense transportation system,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares. “In fact, campaigns like ‘Safety is Sharing. Safety is Caring.’ are an integral part of how we can reach our goal to make our roads better and safer so that by 2050, not a single life is lost on our transportation system – not a motorist, biker, bus rider or pedestrian.”
“Keeping California’s roadways safe is a shared responsibility,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee. “Regardless of whether you are a pedestrian, operating a vehicle, or riding a bicycle, we all have responsibilities. By staying alert, adhering to traffic safety laws, and working together, we can help save lives.”
“With kids back in school and fall’s cooler weather ahead, more people will be spending time outdoors and sharing the roads with cars and trucks in the coming months,” said Auto Club Corporate Communications Manager Doug Shupe. “Sadly, far too many crashes continue to happen between vehicles and vulnerable road users, such as those who walk, jog or use bicycles and scooters. Drivers, please watch out for those who aren’t protected within vehicles. And pedestrians and bicyclists, always make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street, so you know they see you.”
“We believe street safety is a critical issue,” said SCAG Chief Operating Officer Darin Chidsey. “Beyond saving lives, this issue also has implications for Southern California’s ability to meet our environmental, economic and equity goals.”
“Safer streets mean safer communities for everyone,” said Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson. “We have a collective responsibility to look out for each other—no matter how or where we are traveling. By working together across agencies and jurisdictions, we can ensure that every driver, cyclist and pedestrian can move around our cities safely.”
The education campaign is part of comprehensive traffic safety measures the state is taking to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our roads as part of the “Safe System” Approach, which emphasizes safer street designs, safer vehicles and safer people all working to make crashes, when they do happen, less severe.
The OTS and Caltrans have easy-to-follow tips for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians to “share the road” and look out for one another:
- Follow the speed limit. Slow down on busy streets with more bicyclists and pedestrians.
- Avoid distractions like cell phones, in-dash touchscreens and other actions that take your eyes or mind off the road.
- Yield to pedestrians and stop for people walking at marked and unmarked crosswalks.
- Respect bicyclists. Provide at least 3 feet of space when passing and only do so when it’s safe. Change a lane, when possible.
- Be aware of approaching vehicles.
- Use crosswalks when available, especially at stop signs or signals. Be careful crossing at night when it is harder to see or when crossing busier streets with more lanes and higher speed limits.
- Be visible. Wear light colors, reflective material and carry a flashlight at night or dawn/dusk.
- Travel in the same direction of traffic. Bicyclists have the same requirements as any slow-moving vehicle.
- Use hand signals and bike lanes, when available.
- Always wear a helmet and have lights on at night.
To view the PSAs and learn about ways to stay safe on the go, visit www.gosafelyca.org.