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.

In April, 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 cell phone.

  • 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.

Watch the Video

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 of others.

Best regards,
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 life.

Riverside Update...


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.

Best regards,
Dewey F. Bartlett Jr.


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