Long Beach Health Department Awarded Grant to Expand Distracted Driving Prevention Program
The Californer/10263022

Long Beach, CA ~ The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) has been awarded a $215,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to reduce distracted driving related collisions. Mayor Rex Richardson expressed his gratitude for the support, saying "We must continue to work collectively to remind our community that putting your phone away while driving will save lives."

The Health Department's GreenlightLB Program will use the grant funds to support educational activities and behavioral changing strategies to reduce distracted driving in Long Beach. The activities conducted between Oct. 1, 2023, and Sept. 30, 2024, include teen and young adult traffic safety education through activities on high school campuses, educational workshops and social media messaging; a partnership with community leaders to provide neighborhood organizations with tools to promote positive change; reducing health disparities and promoting health equity through expanded partnerships; a peer-to-peer youth program; collecting local distracted driving data; a train-the-trainer course; and pop-up events that promote the importance of safe and responsible driving.

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Acting Director Alison King said "Educating residents about making safety the number one priority when sharing the roadways is a crucial step in eliminating preventable collisions. The efforts funded by OTS will set social norms for our youth, curb dangerous driving behaviors, and help create safer streets for everyone." Last year, the program reached 1,500 community members via 19 distracted driving community presentations and youth-focused workshops; 14 educational outreach tables and pop-ups; graduating 14 students from across five Long Beach schools for the Safe Streets Ambassador program; co-hosting the fourth annual Long Beach Safe Streets Awareness week; conducting two extensive observational assessments at intersections across Long Beach.

Office of Traffic Safety Director Barbara Rooney reminded drivers "Silence your phone and put it away while driving. It is a simple, yet significant action that keeps yourself and others on the road safe." This is the fourth year that Health Department has received an OTS grant to continue its distracted driving prevention efforts which are in line with strategies identified in both their Strategic Plan as well as the City's Safe Streets Action Plan to eliminate traffic-related deaths and serious injuries by 2026.

Filed Under: Government, City

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