CDOT partners with Adelante Community Development to provide grant for safe youth mobility

Traffic Safety Pulse News

Students from Adelante Community Development Youth Advisory BoardCDOT is joining forces with the Governors Highway Safety Association to provide $25,000 in grant funding to local community-based group, Adelante Community Development, to provide safe youth mobility options like walking, biking or riding a scooter.

Traffic crashes are one of the leading causes of death for young people in the United States. Nationwide, nearly 1,100 youth (ages 14 and younger) died in traffic crashes in 2020, up 3% from the year before, according to recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

CDOT will partner with Adelante Community Development, a nonprofit organization focused on serving Latino families and entrepreneurs, to recruit and train teens as part of the Traffic Safety Youth Advisory Board (TSYAB). These teens will assist in providing their peers with education on pedestrian, bicycle and other safe mobility practices within their community. As a Latina-led nonprofit, Adelante will empower and support the TSYAB teens with resources in both English and Spanish designed to inform, engage and educate their peers. The youth will also collect data that can be used to support infrastructure changes within Commerce City to improve safety.

“Injuries and fatalities on our roadways are a serious threat to our youth, no matter where they live,” said Darrell Lingk, director of the Highway Safety Office at CDOT. “This approach allows for a more equitable and youth-centered approach to identifying possible solutions to these traffic safety challenges with the ultimate goal of saving lives.”

Most of the schools in Commerce City were built in the 1950s and 1960s, and the lack of traffic safety awareness and infrastructure around the schools is an ongoing concern, as the core city is surrounded by major roads and highways. During high traffic hours, many drivers take shortcuts through the residential streets, further impacting the safety of the residents and youth.

“We will recruit youth, from 9th to 12th grade, to be part of the TSYAB. These youth will be responsible for developing and implementing the traffic safety awareness program for fellow students in Commerce City, while learning to use their voices to improve their local community,” said Maria Zubia, Health Equity Director at Adelante.

Last year, there were 11 traffic deaths in Commerce City and 82 traffic deaths in Adams County.

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