Go Safely California is set to launch soon, the Office of Traffic Safety’s (OTS) new education program aimed at educating drivers, pedestrians and bikers about traffic safety. The program comes as a response to L.A.’s upward trend of bicycle and pedestrian fatalities.

Police report that pedestrian deaths are up nearly 33% since 2012. Bike deaths have increased by 25% over the past five years, too. The Go Safely California program hopes to educate pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers on proper road safety and protocol.

Raise awareness and increase connectedness

Go Safely California provides residents a wealth of educational information on its website. The program’s primary goal is to raise awareness and increase connectedness with tips, statistics, media toolkits, links to helpful resources, and more. Californians can appreciate the effort as well — after all, no state in the U.S. has more pedestrian deaths on roadways than California.

Available resources include printable tip cards and posters highlighting safety tips and resources, as well as activity books for children and wristbands to foster connections. The OTS hopes these programs will encourage community between Californians. Much of the marketing challenges drivers to be more alert, practice making full stops at stop signs and never drive while impaired.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department joined the program on May 18 by deploying deputies to Malibu to look for and cite specific violations that lead to pedestrian deaths. Deputies issued tickets for speeding, illegal turns, failing to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks, and failing to come to a complete stop at stop signs.

Data on pedestrian deaths

The data on pedestrian deaths make California roadways among the most dangerous in the nation:

  • California has a pedestrian fatality rate that is 45% higher than the national average
  • In 2016, 245 children under age 14 lost their lives in pedestrian-related accidents
  • Pedestrians make up a quarter of all roadway deaths in California

Legal protections for pedestrians

It is important that families who have suffered the loss of a loved one in a traffic accident take swift legal action against the liable parties. A lawyer familiar with California bicycle law can help navigate dense insurance paperwork and work with local authorities. Many families have found success in working with an attorney to secure financial restitution and justice.