´╗┐Captain launches 'Street Smarts' program to improve road safety

´╗┐Richmond District Police Capt. Simon Silverman recently announced the launch of SF Street Smarts, a public safety education program designed to improve driver, pedestrian and bicycle safety through education and community outreach. The program was created in San Jose in 2004 and launched in the Richmond District on June 27.

The program uses street pole banners, posters, brochures, electronic media and educational programs to improve street safety. San Francisco Street Smarts is designed to raise awareness, influence attitudes and change behaviors, such as speeding, running red lights, driving distracted, jaywalking and bicycling infractions.

The program was initiated by the Richmond Community Police Advisory Board (RCPAB), working closely with Silverman, SF Police Department Deputy Chief Sharon Ferrigno (former Richmond District police captain), and San Francisco Safety Awareness for Everyone (SFSAFE). Program funding was provided by the offices of SF supervisors Mark Farrell and Eric Mar.

"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, which focuses on traffic safety and awareness," said Farrell. "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."

Mar echoed those sentiments.

"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," Mar said.

The first deployment of SF Street Smarts will be a one-year pilot program covering Mar's District 1, and part of Farrell's District 2.

The police department, RCPAB and SFSAFE identified the key problem locations in the areas that had the highest incidence of collisions, citations or concerns reported by the community. There is a special emphasis on pedestrian safety due to the many recent pedestrian accidents in the City.