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SFMTA Receives $2 Million Grant to Launch “Safer Intersections” Campaign

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all ground transportation in the city, announced that it has been awarded $2 million from the California Transportation Commission to launch a new campaign focused on unsafe left turns at intersections. This program is in support of Vision Zero, the city’s goal to eliminate traffic fatalities in San Francisco.

“We truly believe these types of awareness programs can have an impact on our communities and save lives,” said Cheryl Brinkman, SFMTA Chairman of the Board. “Unsafe left turns resulting in severe injuries and death have historically been a national problem and our local effort could have an impact that can not only improve safety in San Francisco but have a significant impact elsewhere.”

As part of the Safer Intersections campaign, the SFMTA will work with leading experts across a range of fields to develop and implement education, enforcement and engineering strategies to address unsafe left turns.

The SFMTA’s goal is to launch the Safer Intersections campaign by 2019, working directly with community groups to develop culturally appropriate outreach to ensure widespread benefit across San Francisco. The campaign will also focus a majority of its efforts on San Francisco’s High Injury Network, the 13 percent of city streets where more than 75 percent of severe and fatal traffic injuries occur, and in San Francisco’s Communities of Concern, which are the most disadvantaged communities in the city.

“With distracted left turns being one of the leading causes of traffic deaths in San Francisco, we need to address what we can do as a community to improve this,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation, Ed Reiskin. “The Safer Intersections awareness campaign is about changing unsafe behavior and making our transportation options as safe as possible.”

In 2014, the city developed an education strategy for prioritizing Vision Zero education and outreach efforts. The strategy identified three large scale education programs to launch and continue over the course of ten years, focusing on the top three causes of severe and fatal traffic crashes: speed, failure to yield to pedestrians and unsafe left turns at intersections. The SFMTA’s three campaigns include: It Stops Here, Safer Speeds and Safer Intersections.