Office of the Mayor
Putting the Brakes on Distracted Driving
Everywhere you go, people are talking on their cell phones while
driving and often times are not giving their full attention to the
task at hand, which can lead to disastrous results.
Motor vehicle crashes are among the Top 2 causes of injury death
throughout a person's lifetime and the No. 1 cause of work-related
deaths. This is one of the reasons why the City of Tulsa has taken
a preventative measure designed to stem the rise of distracted
driving due to mobile devices while increasing the safety of City
employees and Tulsa citizens.
Last month, City of Tulsa representatives and state and
national safety council officials met with department heads to
speak about the importance of the City's leadership in addressing
distracted driving. They also rolled out a new City of Tulsa
Distracted Driving policy, which bans employees from using any
mobile device, including hands-free cell phones to reply to work
emails, texts or calls while driving a work car or personal car in
connection with City of Tulsa business.
Our Distract Driving Policy 966 became effective, May 1, 2015. It
is an essential part of our effort to create a transformational
safety culture for City employees and is necessary because:
- Statistics show that distracted driving is on the rise for
everyone, including City of Tulsa employees. City vehicle
collisions resulting from inattentive driving have doubled in seven
years. Nationally, 21 percent of fatal, injury and property
damage-only crashes in 2012 were likely attributed to talking on a
- Of 5.6 million collisions reports in 2012, 1.2 million likely
involved cell phones.
- Those who use hands-free phones are still at a high risk - they
are four times more likely to be in a collision when using
Bluetooth technology while driving their cars.
Under the direction of my administration, the City of Tulsa has
implemented a successful safety culture transformation,
and our organization is having successes - OSHA
recordable injuries were reduced by 45 percent from 2012
through 2014, and they continue to trend downward.
The City of Tulsa is leading the way in safety and is now one of
the few municipalities in the nation to have a comprehensive
distracted driving policy. Please watch "The City of Tulsa
Puts the Brakes On Distracted Driving" video, produced by
the Communications Department.
I also encourage you and your family to follow the City of
Tulsa's lead and take steps to make your own vehicle a
distracted-free zone, not only to save your own life, but the lives
Dewey F. Bartlett Jr.
Revised Riverside Drive Plan Emphasizes Public Safety in Sidewalk
Design, Traffic Calming Measures
Our community is excited and eagerly awaiting the construction
of The Gathering Place on Riverside Drive. We are fortunate to have
private sector partners such as Tulsa Community Foundation and the
George Kaiser Family Foundation, demonstrate their generosity in
many ways, from charitable giving to developing public projects
that breathe new life into our city and improve our quality of
Make a Difference in a Child's Life Through Mentoring
January is National Mentoring Month and cities all across the
nation are focusing on the need for more mentors in schools to help
children and youth succeed in life.
Here in Tulsa, my wife, Victoria Bartlett and I have supported and
promoted the Mentoring to the Max initiative since I took office.
The Mayor's Mentoring to the Max awareness program pairs caring
adults with children who need a little extra attention to help them
lead successful, productive lives.
Mentoring makes a difference in our community and can positively
impact our city's economic health. As Mayor of Tulsa, I'm committed
to making sure our students are equipped with the knowledge and
skills they need for future success.
Last summer, the City of Tulsa took the lead and adopted Emerson
Elementary which is quite close to City Hall. Currently, 27 City
employees are actively engaged in Emerson, serving as weekly lunch
buddies, special guest readers and presenters (covering their field
of expertise at the City). I'm excited about the opportunity we
have as public servants to give back to our community and make a
difference in these students' lives.
I also hope you'll join us in our mentoring efforts and do
something great for Tulsa - share your gifts with a child to help
him or her succeed in school and prepare for the future. It only
takes an hour or so of your time each week,
either individually or in a group setting.
The time is now; make January the time to give back and nurture a
child. Read more about Mentoring to the Max on our website.
Dewey F. Bartlett Jr.