Le Lézard
Classified in: Sports and recreation
Subjects: Photo/Multimedia, Event, Product/Service

California Office of Traffic Safety and Caltrans Kick Off NASCAR Race Weekend with "Go Safely" Meet and Greet with Driver Ross Chastain

The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) teamed up with NASCAR Cup Series driver Ross Chastain today for a public meet and greet to encourage all Californians to Go Safely. The event at the California Highway Patrol's Golden Gate Office in Vallejo kicks off a fun-filled racing weekend that concludes with Chastain going for a NASCAR Cup Series win in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday.

Chastain joined the OTS, Caltrans and other traffic safety partners including the California Highway Patrol and Impact Teen Drivers to promote safe driving habits through interactive activities that raise awareness about the importance of slowing down, not driving under the influence, being work zone alert, staying safe on rural roads and seat belt safety. The event included an up-close look at Chastain's race car, traffic safety demonstrations, and autograph and photo opportunities.

"I am thankful to partner with the California Office of Traffic Safety and Caltrans to bring the Go Safely campaign to race fans," said Ross Chastain. "As speeding related crashes, injuries and fatalities increase in California and across the country, I am looking forward to using my platform to help educate all road users on the importance of safe driving habits."

"One major way we can all prioritize road safety is slowing down and leaving the racing to the professionals on the racetrack," said OTS Director Barbara Rooney. "Our goal is to create a safety culture that does not accept that traffic deaths and serious injuries are inevitable. Having traffic safety champions with a passion and commitment to traffic safety, like Ross, is essential in making our roads safer."

"Improving safety on our roadways will take everyone doing their part, starting with each individual driver," said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares. "We can and must do better to eliminate deaths on our roadways, particularly the preventable deaths caused by unsafe driving behaviors. Never drive distracted or under the influence, and always be work zone alert."

During the event, attendees had a chance to join the Go Safely Movement and become a traffic safety champion by taking a short Community Call to Action survey to share what issues they are experiencing in their everyday travels. Survey responses will assist the OTS in strengthening connections with communities, providing access to resources, and promoting traffic safety throughout the transportation system.

Through his partnership with OTS and Caltrans, Chastain ? an eighth-generation watermelon farmer and long-time seat belt advocate ? uses his large social media following to share messages promoting safe driving habits and the statewide "Protect Your Melon," Go Safely Movement and Be Work Zone Alert/Move Over initiatives.

According to the latest projections from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 4,400 people were killed in traffic crashes in California in 2022, or 12 people every day.

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