SFMTA Launches Three-Year Motorcycle Education Campaign Pilot
San Francisco residents, commuters and visitors will see significant movement toward safe streets as the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) - which manages all surface transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni) - launches a first of its kind Vision Zero education campaign targeting people who ride motorcycles. The campaign is funded by a $188,267 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“People who ride motorcycles are some of the most vulnerable users of our roads,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “To reach our Vision Zero goal, we need to take action to prevent motorcycle crashes from occurring on our streets and this program will help reach this growing population and make sure they are traveling more safely.”
San Francisco is experiencing an increase in motorcycle usage. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 22,853 registered motorcycles in San Francisco in 2014, a 10 percent increase in registered motorcycles over five years. With this increase, San Francisco has seen more motorcycle crashes resulting in injury and death. The Office of Traffic Safety database ranks San Francisco as having the highest fatal collision rate among California cities over 250,000 in population and fifth among all counties in the state. Nearly 20 percent of all traffic fatalities in San Francisco in 2015 involved motorcycles despite them accounting for a small fraction of total road users.
To stem these fatalities, the SFMTA will work in direct partnership with the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) to implement a new citywide education campaign aimed at reducing and ending injuries and deaths among people who ride motorcycles. As part of the city’s Vision Zero Education Strategy, this new campaign will be used to educate the targeted population and implement a spectrum of prevention measures intended to alter individual behaviors that most contribute to crashes, including unsafe speed, unsafe passing and DUI.
“The SFMTA has been taking a data-driven approach to Vision Zero, targeting our engineering improvements and education initiatives on the people and streets in most need,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation, Ed Reiskin. “People riding motorcycles represent a very small amount of our total road users, but account for a disproportionate amount of our traffic deaths. This focused education campaign will bring citywide awareness to this issue and move the needle on making our streets safer for people on motorcycles.”
The campaign was developed in support of Vision Zero, San Francisco’s policy to eliminate all traffic-related deaths by 2024. Every year, about 30 people lose their lives and over 200 more are seriously injured while traveling on city streets. These deaths and injuries are preventable, and San Francisco is committed to stopping further loss of life.
Vision Zero (www.visionzerosf.org) – San Francisco adopted Vision Zero as a policy in 2014, committing to build better and safer streets, educate the public on traffic safety, enforce traffic laws, and adopt policy changes that save lives. The result of this collaborative, citywide effort is safer, more livable streets as San Francisco works towards the Vision Zero goal of zero traffic fatalities by 2024. San Francisco is engineering inherently safer streets, enforcing traffic laws more effectively, and targeting traffic-safety education to reach its Vision Zero goals.
Office of Traffic Safety (www.ots.ca.gov) – The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) strives to eliminate traffic deaths and injuries. It does this by making available grants to local and state public agencies for programs that help them enforce traffic laws, educate the public in traffic safety, and provide varied and effective means of reducing fatalities, injuries and economic losses from collisions.