Salt Lake City awarded nearly $1 million for road safety education


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Salt Lake City $953,000 in grant funds to pilot a new interactive road safety education program in public schools throughout the city.
The program, called TravelWell Schools, will be delivered to K-12 classrooms in Salt Lake City. Salt Lake officials said the community will learn about safe streets and “Vision Zero,” a zero-fatality strategy, through technology.
“Every street should be the safest street in Salt Lake City, period. That’s especially true for roads near our schools,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “This grant funding will advance our Vision Zero goals and make Salt Lake City’s streets a safer place for kids because no death is acceptable. We won’t stop looking for ways to address street safety for all Salt Lakers.”
Salt Lake City’s Vision Zero aims to stop traffic fatalities and serious injuries on the city’s roads. The new approach to road safety recognizes that people will make mistakes, so the road system and policies should be designed to mitigate the lasting effects of those mistakes. Salt Lake officials call Vision Zero a “fresh approach” to traffic safety.
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Mendenhall announced in early 2022 the city’s intention to become a Vision Zero, with no fatalities or serious injuries on city streets by 2035.
Officials say the TravelWell Schools program will help further the city’s Vision Zero goals by educating students with digital mapping. Through this technology, students can learn to identify real-time travel behaviors, problems and solutions to avoid a serious or fatal crash.
The program was designed in collaboration with Children’s Media Workshop, which explained students will start by mapping their routes to school. Routes are color-coded depending on the mode of travel. Students then look to turn those red routes green, promoting safer and more carbon-friendly modes of travel.
“The exciting thing about this grant and partnership is that it provides an opportunity for us to crowdsource feedback directly from students, enabling us to make targeted safety investments where that will provide the highest benefit for them,” said Salt Lake City Transportation Division Director Jon Larsen.
Early testing of the TravelWell Schools pilot program in other cities has reportedly led to a “significant increase” in behavior changes regarding active transportation. In a video explaining the program, several students said they and their families have begun walking more in situations where they used to drive. The symbiotic findings from the pilot will be used to inform the Safe Streets for All action plan as well as inform school safety and the Vision Zero program.



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