Volunteer Palm Springs News & Events

Program seeking to enlist Residents
in Safe Streets Push

David Carden jr, special to the Desert Sun, May 16 2017

Pedestrian, traffic and bicycle accidents/deaths continue to rise in the Coachella Valley. With nine pedestrian/vehicle deaths and numerous other accidents in Palm Springs alone in 2016 something must be done to stem the tide of these statistics. With the help and support of our community, our nonprofit, community-based, Volunteer Palm Springs (VPS), through its P.S. Cares public safety program, is poised to help make our city streets safe again. We all must taking responsibility for our own public safety – when we venture out driving, walking or cycling. Many crashes occur at night when people are more vulnerable due to wearing dark clothing, being distracted and not aware of the dangers of our low-density lighting at night. Many neighborhoods do not have sidewalks, street lighting or painted designated crosswalks. Whatever the situation, most accidents are avoidable and are due to speed, distraction and visibility. VPS, in partnership with Desert Regional Medical Center’s Trauma Injury Prevention Program and the Palm Springs Police Department (PSPD), has developed a program designed to raise awareness of pedestrian, traffic and bicycle safety. The goal: Changing behavior through education. The P.S. Cares Public Safety Brochure offers simple safety tips to help prevent injuries and save lives on our city streets.

Recognizing that Palm Springs has an aging population where its residents don’t see as well as they used to, do not hear as well or hug the road to the right when driving all pose challenges to public safety. The addition of 30-plus miles of bicycle lanes is adding to these challenges. Couple that with a tremendous increase in tourist activity and Palm Springs has the ‘perfect storm’ of trying to find ways to reduce the number of crashes, monitor "hot spot" collision intersections and find ways to make our city streets safer. All can help with that goal. The P.S. Cares public safety program, in addition to the safety brochure, includes a custom-designed reflective safety vest for adults and a special doggie vest to keep everyone safe at night. The vests are highly reflective and bright and could lead to a major reduction in crashes, injuries and death on our city streets.

VPS and its partners have scheduled a series of public meetings on safety tips, information about injuries (and how to prevent them) and enforcement of traffic safety laws. The first of these was held at the Mizell Senior Center and on Wednesday, May 17, Desert Regional will host a Town Hall on Public Safety from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. VPS is prepared to schedule meetings with organized neighborhoods, business/hospitality meetings, hotels and other venues where people are interested in participating in helping to make our streets safer. The safety vest program is designed to be self-sustaining. For every two adult vests sold P.S. Cares will donate a vest to a senior citizen, a person in need or a homeless person. For every two doggie vests sold one will be donated to Animal Samaritans or the Palm Springs Animal Shelter and given to each dog adopted/rescued. See the VPS website, www.volunteerpalmsprings.org, for more information.

The goal of P.S. Cares is to educate people to become responsible for their own safety. After all, there is nothing more precious than a human life. That life you save just might be your own!

Email David Carden Jr. of Palm Springs at davidcardenps@gmail.com.