A pedestrian crosswalk. Photo via PixabayThe San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced Wednesday that it received a $75,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to improve pedestrian safety countywide.

The grant will fund multiple programs and workshops through Sept. 30, 2020, to teach youth and adults about best practices when walking or riding a bike or scooter. The county will also use the funding to participate in nationwide pedestrian safety events like Bicycle Safety Month and National Walk to School Day.

“No matter which way you get around, you play a part in roadway safety,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “These grant programs are intended to educate residents on ways they can make themselves and those around them safe when they walk or bike.”

According to the county Medical Examiner’s Office, pedestrian deaths in traffic accidents rose last year from 93 pedestrians and three cyclists in 2017 to 107 pedestrians and nine cyclists last year.

Statewide, pedestrian and cyclist deaths in traffic accidents have also ticked up sharply in recent years. Pedestrian deaths rose nearly 33% from 2012 to 2016, while cyclist deaths rose 14% from 2012 to 2016.

Funding for the OTS grant came from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to the county.

–City News Service