FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the Vision Zero grant recipients for FY 2017. Five programs will benefit from the grants totaling $600,000. The Vision Zero grants are designed to encourage innovative approaches to transportation safety.
Mayor Bowser announced this year’s grant recipients, noting the wide range of stakeholders working toward safe streets.
“The District needs to attack traffic injuries and fatalities from all angles,” said Mayor Bowser. “While we focus on engineering safe infrastructure at the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), our partners in public health, risk management, senior services, youth development, and the vehicle-for-hire industry are developing new solutions to improve safety.”
Vision Zero is Mayor Bowser’s plan to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries to people walking, biking, and driving within the District’s transportation system by 2024. Each fiscal year, the District reserves a portion of revenue generated from Automated Traffic Enforcement to pilot innovative transportation safety projects.
The new grant winners will address some of the most pressing traffic safety challenges facing the District. The awardees for Fiscal Year 2017 are:
DC Villages / Capitol Hill Village - $160,000
Working with its senior population, DC Villages will reduce the number of seniors driving through an expanded volunteer ride program and increased use of ridesharing; improve senior driving education; and enhance pedestrian safety and navigation. Seniors in the District drive very few miles but are the second leading age group in collisions and fatalities. Seniors are also the second leading age group in pedestrian crashes. DC Villages will help reverse this trend by providing alternative transportation options for seniors and providing real-time information on the safest walking routes.
Gearin’ Up Bicycles - $80,000
Gearin’ Up Bicycles will organize teams of trained youth and adult bicycle mechanics to provide education, repairs, safety checks, and free safety equipment in coordination with the District of Columbia Public Schools’ Biking in the Park program. Today, there are no bicycle shops in Wards 7 and 8. Gearin’ Up Bicycles will ensure people biking in these communities, especially children, are using safe equipment.
The George Washington University Hospital - $169,000
The George Washington University Hospital will replicate a proven protocol to increase collection of blood evidence used to adjudicate impaired drivers throughout all District of Columbia trauma centers. Drunk and drugged driving incidents represent a significant portion of our traffic fatalities, yet Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Officers face difficulties when obtaining blood evidence in suspected cases of impaired driving. The GWU Hospital Impaired Operator Blood Collection process will be replicated throughout our local trauma centers to more effectively prevent impaired driving.
District of Columbia Department of For-Hire Vehicles (DFHV) - $61,000
DFHV will provide preventative enforcement for vehicles for hire, in coordination with DDOT traffic control. DFHV will prevent dangerous driving with compliance check points and focused enforcement in areas with high concentrations of vulnerable travelers. From 2010 to 2014, there were nearly 2,000 crashes involving taxis, 392 of which resulted in injuries. DFHV will target for-hire vehicle drivers who illegally load and unload, drive erratically, and interact dangerously with bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
District of Columbia Office of Risk Management (ORM) - $130,000
ORM will implement a District-wide driver safety program including online training and behind-the-wheel training for high-risk drivers. Motor vehicle incidents involving District Government fleet have been increasing in frequency. With nearly 5,000 licensed drivers operating vehicles on a daily basis, this ORM program will ensure professional drivers in District Government are among the safest drivers on the road.
In support of the District’s Vision Zero action plan to eliminate all traffic fatalities and serious injuries, this year’s grant funding was available to local non-profit, 501(c)(3) organizations and District Government agencies to help advance Vision Zero strategies.
The mission of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is to enhance the quality of life for District residents and visitors by ensuring that people, goods, and information move efficiently and safely with minimal adverse impact on residents and the environment.