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Safe Communities

Program Manager

Phone Number:  503 986-4187
FAX:  503 986-3143
ODOT - Transportation Safety Division - MS 3
4040 Fairview Industrial Drive SE
Salem, OR 97302-1142
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Program Introduction

Safe Communities  
What is a safe community?
Remember when living in a community meant everyone banding together when something needed to be done?  Today, that same tradition is part of Safe Communities.
The Safe Communities program is a proven model that works in many different settings.  Each community sets priorities based on its specific safety issues.
Safe Communities rely on a big-picture approach to injury prevention:
  • Citizen input and participation;
  • Collaboration, especially with business and health care;
  • Data collection and analysis; and
  • Combined injury prevention efforts
Safety is a community affair.
How do Safe Communities get started?  They often begin with concerned neighbors gathering to talk about traffic safety issues.  When the conversation turns to action, residents and businesses form committees or other safety groups to work with local government and neighborhood associations.  Through ongoing collaboration and new partnerships, Safe Communities evolve into coalitions of citizens, law enforcement, public health, medical, government, business, and civic and service groups. 
Coalition members meet regularly to share injury data, and plan and carry out local injury prevention activities.  When community members share a commitment to promote safety, injuries and their costs decrease while the quality of life increases.
Who pays for Safe Communities?
Oregon Safe Communities are collaborations of the National Safety Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Oregon Department of Transportation, local communities and many other partners.  Funding and technical support from NHTSA helps communities leverage additional resources from other public and private partners.
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Traffic Safety Marketing

Traffic Safety Marketing is the NHTSA's outlet for traffic safety messages.  Local partners can download and use information from this site to inform their communities.
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Local Transportation Safety in Oregon

The Transportation Safety Division works with local governments and volunteers to promote safety in numerous ways.  One of the most effective ways to make things happen is to bring together people from a wide range of interests and backgrounds, and ask them to employ their skills and knowledge to improve safety problems.
Over the years, this approach has blossomed into the forming of a number of different types of groups – each having a different scale and approach to the transportation safety problem.
The primary group types can be summarized as follows:
Safe Communities:  This is a coalition of government and private sector staff with an interest in safety.  The group takes a big picture approach to injury prevention, and combines the various parties interested in injury prevention into a single, effective group.  These groups emphasize using data and analysis to guide collaborative efforts in the non-profit, business, health, and government sectors of the economy.  In Oregon, Baker, Clackamas, Grant, Harney, Jackson, Malheur, Umatilla , Union Counties, plus the City of Portland take this approach to varying levels of effort.  ODOT supports these groups with grants large and small, technical assistance, training, and data support.
Traffic Safety Committees: These groups focus their energies on improving the safety of the highway system in their community. They serve the critical role of sounding board, exploring transportation safety problems and opportunities much more deeply than the elected body can in a typical meeting.  Members of these groups work with local and state staff to explore solutions to safety problems.  Their meetings are typically open to the public, and are exciting places to be when working well. 
Neighborhood Associations:  It has been said that all traffic safety is local. What better way to solve transportation safety problems than the neighborhood association.  In Oregon, many of these groups are incorporated 501c3 organizations able to receive grants, and most are recognized as an important part of the community.  In some communities, they are actually a part of the government body.  ODOT works with these groups by providing data, information and training to make them more effective at identifying and tackling community level transportation safety problems. 
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2015 Safety Resource Guide

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2004-2013 Oregon County Data

Below is an example of what one county is doing with their crash data to understand what is going on at their location.  What is your community doing to assess the situation?
             Click image to view full size


Drive to Zero Videos by Clackamas County

Drive to Zero: Aggressive Driving 
Drive to Zero: Distracted Driving 
Drive to Zero: Slow Down for the Curve

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Some Traffic Safety History

1934 - 1942 Oregon Driver Manual - pdf 6.91 mb

Ancient and Modern MeetOregonian article September 28, 1901

Coroner Tells Office History - Oregonian article November 2, 1952​

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​Click on the images below to enlarge. 

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​Listen to the following radio message as an example of what local volunteers can do.  This spot was aired courtesy of KBZY 1490 Radio.  (Right click on the link below and select "Save Target As" to save the media file to your computer for viewing or forwarding.)
Radio PSA (MP3 1.0 MB)

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Oregon Impact 
Provides educational experiences to end impaired and distracted driving
Building Safe Communities 
Community Traffic Safety Resource Guide 
Drowsy Driving
What You Can Do 
NHTSA Driving Safety Resource Page 

Clackamas County Drive to Zero
SafetyLit is a free service of the Center for Injury Prevention Policy

and Practice at San Diego State University in cooperation with the
World Health Organization.

The Australasian College is a significant highway safety group for this area of the world.
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