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The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award

The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Awards recognize notable achievements in the field of highway safety during the prior calendar year by individuals, coalitions, organizations, nonprofit groups, businesses, government agencies, universities or programs. About Peter K. O'Rourke

2005 Winner: The Santa Monica, California Police Department

GHSA Highway Safety Awards

Santa Monica Police Dept.
The Santa Monica, California Police Department.

Following the 2003 Farmer's Market incident in Santa Monica where an elderly man accelerated his car into a crowded outdoor market, killing 10 people, the Santa Monica Police Department reacted with a new approach to pedestrian safety. The pedestrian safety program, Be Safe, Be Seen, sponsored by the Santa Monica Police Department, had resulted in zero pedestrian deaths and a 21 percent decrease in pedestrian traffic injuries in 2004 from the previous year.

The program combines enforcement details targeting drivers and pedestrians with a strong public information campaign that is presented to schools and community groups. A pedestrian safety training video is also shown with a series of public service announcements targeting traffic mobility, senior citizens and tourists. Be Safe, Be Seen allows pedestrians to self-assess their own traffic skills before they are trained about proper crosswalk interaction between pedestrians and vehicles. The Santa Monica Police Department collaborated with senior volunteers, several city departments and actress June Lockhart to produce the state-of-the-art public awareness program.

The Santa Monica Police Department well surpassed its expectations with a 100 percent decrease in pedestrian related traffic deaths and a substantial reduction in pedestrian injuries. The Department met the challenge of pedestrian safety by creating an interesting, effective program to eliminate pedestrian tragedies on Santa Monica's streets.

For more information please contact Chris Murphy at cmurphy@ots.ca.gov.