San Antonio Police officers are now receiving additional training on Vision Zero and crash reporting during their daily roll call in an effort to combat San Antonio’s alarming increase in traffic fatalities. Additionally, officers are sharing educational material with roadway users, especially those who are making unsafe choices.
On average, 162 people are killed on San Antonio roadways annually while some 40,000 are killed in traffic crashes across the United States. In the first six months of this year, 85 people were killed on San Antonio roads. This is a 44 percent increase in roadway fatalities when compared to the same period of time last year. In 2016 there were 98 fatalities during the same time period.
“As police officers, we see the tragedies caused by poor driving decisions that are made on a daily basis,” said Chief William McManus, SAPD. “Last year alone, we saw 144 people lose their lives on San Antonio roadways. Being able to stop these incidents before they happen is a priority we take seriously. Partnering with Vision Zero on this campaign will educate our officers about best practices for reporting on crashes and provide the community compelling information that can lead to a safer San Antonio.”
During their daily roll call, SAPD officers will view a video narrated by Chief McManus. The video provides statistics and encourages officers to be thorough in providing greater detail in their crash reports.
“The more detail we have in those crash reports, especially the contributing factors, is vital,” said Art Reinhardt, who oversees the Vision Zero initiative for the City of San Antonio. “We can take this information and identify patterns, which can help us make changes to the roads to improve safety and reduce injuries and fatalities.”
Officers will also be handing out pamphlets, prepared by Vision Zero, to people they see demonstrating unsafe behavior. An electronic version of the pamphlet can be accessed at www.visionzerosa.com.
“We all make mistakes, but there are steps each and every one of us can take to make our streets safer,” said District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales. “Through SAPD’s partnership, this campaign will allow us direct access to having conversations with people who are exercising poor judgment on the road. We can educate and encourage them to make safer decisions—because we want people to know that their decisions really do make a difference.”
The ultimate goal is to make San Antonio streets safer for people walking, biking, and driving. In 2015, San Antonio adopted Vision Zero, a plan designed to eliminate traffic fatalities and enhance transportation safety amidst community growth. The new sub-initiative, launched today, combines education, encouragement and enforcement, three of five pillars that San Antonio focuses on to achieve Vision Zero. The other pillars are engineering and evaluation.
Key points Vision Zero SA is sharing through this campaign:
- Distracted driving is deadly – distracted driving accounts for almost 45% of crashes in San Antonio
- Speed kills – increased speed heightens the odds of serious injuries and fatalities
- A list of the most common crash types and how to avoid them
- Tips for sharing the road
- The importance of heightened awareness at intersections
- Safety pointers for people walking, biking and driving
Stay up-to-date on Vision Zero San Antonio:
- Twitter: @SanAntonioTCI
- Facebook: San Antonio TCI
- YouTube: San Antonio TCI/li>
Black Worship VIII Show Recording
Air Conditioning on the Way for Vulnerable Residents
A needed step was taken today to improve the dignity and quality of life of some of San Antonio’s most vulnerable residents.
The City Council’s Comprehensive Plan Committee recently approved a funding recommendation to install air conditioning in over 2,500 public housing units on San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) properties that don’t have them.
“Some of these SAHA housing units were built in the 1930s,” said District 5 City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, chair of the Comprehensive Plan Committee. “Two thousand, five hundred families in our city including children and the elderly have lived through scorching summers without air conditioning for generations because their housing is old – that needs to change.”
The recommendation, which is pending the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s regulatory approval and will be sent to the full City Council for final approval, is to allocate $500,000 in CDBG funds that will be leveraged with private and non-profit funding to purchase and install air conditioning units at 22 SAHA facilities. The City’s CDBG funds will be matched by SAHA in the same amount of $500,000.
SAHA will work on a short deadline in order to install the air conditioners before the summer. If approved by Council, purchasing will begin in March and April with installation finished by the summer months.
According to San Antonio Housing Authority CEO David Nisivoccia, one-third of the residents of the public housing units that need air conditioning are elderly and disabled. Those units will be prioritized, followed by families with children.
State Representative Diego Bernal attended the Committee meeting to thank the members for their approval and commented that all concerned were racing against the summer to get the project going.
“This will help the most vulnerable in our City,” Councilwoman Gonzales said. “Public housing should not reflect a community’s poverty.”
Sharing Stories of Racial Discrimination
San Antonio residents of color are invited to share personal stories of racial discrimination for the third annual HBCU Oral History Project, hosted at St. Philip’s College Feb. 15-17, from 9 AM to 5 PM in the Sutton Learning Center, 1801 Martin Luther King Dr.
The HBCU Truth & Reconciliation Oral History Project is an endeavor that uses the power of spoken and documented words to heal and create spiritual and social change. These stories and, the related research, will be used to inform policy changes within the political environment and spiritual changes from a grassroots and common person’s perspective.
Under the direction of Rev. Steve Miller, the Project’s founder, digitized oral history accounts will be gathered by the HBCU academy which includes; Huston-Tillotson University, Jarvis Christian College and Southwestern Christian College. Participating partner universities include, Austin Presbyterian, Baylor University and TCU.
Miller’s work has resulted in federal civil rights investigations by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and the United States Department of Justice’s Community Services Division, primarily, within the Texas educational system. His work has brought increased equity to hiring processes, enlarged job opportunities, and fostered greater understanding of institutional partiality through education.
Miller has coordinated and won legal actions at the federal court level and has been the stimulus of rewrites of discipline policies, whose ends resulted in fewer minorities being exposed to and caught in the educational system’s disciplinary apparatus, which correlates highly with elevated juvenile justice and mass incarceration rates.
For more information, contact St. Philip’s Director of Student Success Dr. Angela McPherson Williams at (210) 486-2090, email@example.com or Project Founder and Director Rev. Steve Miller at (713) 557-6520 – (512) 404-4800, firstname.lastname@example.org