Police Department Launches Pilot Safety Program

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SAN FRANCISCO—Richmond District Police Captain Simon Silverman announced on July 11 the launch of the SF Street Smarts, a public safety education program that is expected to improve driver, pedestrian and bicycle safety with education and community outreach. The goal of the program is to make the streets safer, friendlier, and to reduce the number of traffic related incidents in the region.

According to a press release from the SFPD website, the program was launched on June 27 at SF’s Richmond Police District and was initially started in San Jose, CA in 2004. Street pole banners, posters, brochures and electronic media, along with educational programs help to increase street safety. The goal of the program is to impact awareness, influence attitudes and change behaviors that include: speeding, running red lights, crosswalk infractions by drivers, distracted driving, jaywalking and bicycle infractions.

The Richmond Community Police Advisory Board (RCPAB), along with Captain Silverman, Deputy Chief Sharon Ferrigno (former Richmond District Police Captain) and SF SAFE initiated the program.

Supervisors Mark Farrell and Eric Mar were responsible for providing funding for the program.

“Pedestrian and traffic safety has been an area of focus here in City Hall with the rise in pedestrian deaths and related accidents. It is so important that we as a city support programs like SF Street Smarts that focus on traffic safety and awareness.   I am a proud supporter of the funding for this project, and I believe all drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists have a role to play in keeping our streets safe.  SF Street Smarts is one of those projects to help meet that goal,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell.

“Keeping our streets safe is a top priority for my office.  I am proud of our work with Richmond residents and the Richmond District police station to launch this critical campaign that can help save lives,” said Supervisor Eric Mar.

The SF Street Smarts will be a one-year pilot program that will cover Supervisor Mar’s District 1, and a portion of Supervisor Farrell’s District 2. Special consideration has been placed on pedestrian safety because of the recent number of pedestrian-related collisions in the City. The program will target high-risk areas and examine safety issues that include:

-Speeding
-Running red lights and stop signs
-Right-of-way violations at intersections and crosswalks by drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists
-Distracted driving
-Bicyclist safety and bicyclist violations

“We have a tendency to be isolated from others when we are driving.  The Street Smarts messages remind us that we are not alone on the road and that our behavior affects the other people using the streets around us.  I hope that the SF Street Smarts program will prompt people to think of safe driving as an obligation to their community,” said Captain Simon Silverman of Richmond Police Station.

To obtain additional information on the program please visit www.SFStreetSmarts.org or email info@sfstreetsmarts.org.  The following Twitter pages can also be visited: #SfStreetSmarts, #SFPDrichmond and #SFSAFE.

By LaDale Anderson