CALIFORNIA (KERO) — The California Highway Patrol (CHP) announced that they were awarded a $1.2 million federal grant to promote pedestrian and bicyclist safety on Monday, October 3rd. The grant is funded through the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety, Education, Enforcement, and Awareness (BESEEN) program and is provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Coinciding with National Pedestrian Safety Walk and shortly before National Walk to School Day on October 12th, the CHP was given a grant to promote safety for bicyclists and pedestrians through the BESEEN program. According to the CHP's webpage on BESEEN, "the CHP implements a traffic safety grant funded by the Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to reduce pedestrian and bicyclist collisions and victims. The project includes both enhanced enforcement and a public education and awareness campaign focusing on traffic safety, which includes motorist behavior when driving in the presence of pedestrians and bicyclists."
According to the CHP, almost 20 percent of traffic-related deaths are from bicyclists and pedestrians. Throughout 2020 and 2021, there were 926 bicyclist and pedestrian deaths in CHP jurisdiction.
“The most vulnerable roadway users are pedestrians and bicyclists,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “This grant will promote the importance of drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians looking out for one another so that everyone can safely share the road.”
The BESEEN grant will fund a year-long effort to educate the public on pedestrian safety, as well as enforce laws put in place to protect those people. CHP officers will focus on areas with high foot and bicycle traffic, push public awareness campaigns in various communities throughout the state of California, and hold public safety seminars and presentations. The project will end on September 30th, 2023.
CHP officers will also monitor crosswalks and school areas on October 12th in honor of National Walk to School Day.