Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) Equity Statement
Throughout history, deeply rooted racism has led to inequitable policies and practices that have threatened transportation safety for communities of color and underserved communities. Equity is a fundamental principle in transportation safety. The transportation system must be safe for all road users, for all modes of transportation, in all communities and for people of all incomes, races and ethnicities, ages and abilities.
The OTS embraces its role in transportation safety to advance equity and to prioritize its traffic safety efforts toward any person or community that has been marginalized and burdened by poverty and inequality. Data-driven safety initiatives must be developed and administered with an equity lens to ensure our most vulnerable and underserved populations are prioritized. Our actions must be sensitive to community desires and needs, striving to include the voice of every community in traffic safety.
Traffic crashes continue to claim the lives of thousands of people on California roadways each year. Data analysis shows overrepresentation of people of color in crashes, including those involving fatalities. It is clear – roadway travel is riskier for people of color and this disparity has gotten worse in recent years. Several factors contribute to these results, but understanding travel patterns, where fatal and serious injury crashes are occurring and the disproportionate impacts on certain communities will allow us to identify targeted actions to address the underlying factors and causes and improve safety.
The OTS is committed to taking a comprehensive, inclusive and equitable approach to delivering education, enforcement and outreach programs to save lives on all of California’s roadways.