PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

12/4/2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 120423-2
Subject:
Long Beach Health Department Awarded Grant to Expand Distracted Driving Prevention Program
Contact:
Jennifer Rice Epstein
562.441.3590
Jennifer.RiceEpstein@longbeach.gov
Public Affairs Officer
Department of Health and Human Services




Long Beach, CA – The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) has been awarded a $215,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to reduce distracted driving related collisions.

“Thank you to the Office of Traffic Safety for supporting our efforts to educate the community about the dangers of distracted driving,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “We must continue to work collectively to remind our community that putting your phone away while driving will save lives.”  

The Health Department’s GreenlightLB Program will use grant funds to support educational activities and behavioral changing strategies to reduce distracted driving in Long Beach. Funds received will support activities conducted between Oct. 1, 2023, and Sept. 30, 2024, including:

  • Teen and young adult traffic safety education through activities on high school campuses, educational workshops and social media messaging.
  • A partnership with community leaders to provide neighborhood organizations with tools to promote positive change and reduce distracted driving on local streets.
  • Reduce health disparities and promote health equity through expanded partnerships to provide bilingual and bicultural distracted driving education.
  • Peer-to-peer youth program to empower youth to actively promote traffic safety.
  • Collect local distracted driving data through Citywide observations and community survey to inform the Long Beach Vision Zero initiative and future programming.
  • Train-the-trainer course to equip community leaders with the knowledge and tools necessary to educate the public about critical traffic safety issues.
  • Pop-up events that promote the importance of safe and responsible driving.

“Educating residents about making safety the number one priority when sharing the roadways is a crucial step in eliminating preventable collisions,” said Health Department Acting Director Alison King. “The efforts funded by OTS will set social norms for our youth, curb dangerous driving behaviors, and help create safer streets for everyone."

Last year, the program reached 1,500 community members via:

  • 19 distracted driving community presentations and youth-focused workshops.
  • 14 educational outreach tables and pop-ups to promote safer driving.
  • The graduation of 14 students from across five Long Beach schools for the Safe Streets Ambassador program.
  • Co-hosting the fourth annual Long Beach Safe Streets Awareness week.
  • Conducting two extensive observational assessments at intersections across Long Beach.

“Silence your phone and put it away while driving,” said Office of Traffic Safety Director Barbara Rooney. “It is a simple, yet significant action that keeps yourself and others on the road safe.”

This is the fourth year the Health Department has received an OTS grant to continue its distracted driving prevention efforts. The activities funded by this grant are in line with strategies identified in the Health Department’s Strategic Plan: to develop and implement a citywide distracted driving prevention program to change the behaviors of drivers through public awareness, education and informed decision-making; expand activities during Safe Streets Awareness Week to educate drivers on how to safely share the streets with pedestrians and bicyclists; and offer Health Department resources, training and professional expertise to community members, schools, and other service partners to build capacity, extend our reach, and advance public health goals. GreenlightLB’s program activities also help to advance goals identified in the City’s Safe Streets Action Plan to eliminate traffic-related deaths and serious injuries by 2026.