SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A $1.2 million federal grant has been awarded to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to increase pedestrian and bicyclist safety throughout the Golden State.

A yearlong effort to promote safe and courteous traffic safety behaviors will be made possible through the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety, Education, Enforcement, and Awareness (BESEEN) program.

The funds will be used for safety training and educational presentations to boost public awareness on the issue. This comes as nearly 20 percent of all traffic-related deaths in California are bicyclist or pedestrians.

“The most vulnerable roadway users are pedestrians and bicyclists,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said.  “This grant will promote the importance of drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians looking out for one another so that everyone can safely share the road.”

Enforcement patrols are preparing to zone in on areas with higher traffic incidents. CHP Officers will work to monitor crosswalks and areas surrounding schools. They are particularly looking for motorists who fail to yield the right-of-way.

This announcement coincides with the start of National Pedestrian Safety Month and comes ahead of National Walk to School Day, which is scheduled for Oct. 12.