Nationwide Pedestrian Safety
August 17, 2016
New York is not the only state to increase their focus on pedestrian safety. Nationwide, states have begun to reevaluate their pedestrian safety operations they had in place, starting off with small changes initially to ultimately change the way drivers and pedestrians take the streets.
In Oakland, California, officers will be out looking for traffic offenses made by pedestrians and drivers that they consider risky behavior. They will not hesitate to ticket drivers who speed, make illegal turns, fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, or fail to stop for signs and signals. In addition, pedestrians will be ticketed if they are seen crossing the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. This comes in response to the continuous rise of pedestrian fatalities in California, with 876 total pedestrian deaths and injuries in the past three years.
Officers in Charlotte, North Carolina are kicking off their ‘Watch For Me NC’ pedestrian-bicycle safety program by starting small and targeting one of their most dangerous intersections. They will be issuing tickets to pedestrians who do not use crosswalks along College Street, as well as ticketing drivers who do not yield for pedestrians in crosswalks at that intersection.
For their Pedestrian Safety Month of August, Walk Wise Hawaii is teaming up with McDonald’s to hold events to educate citizens on pedestrian visibility while walking the streets. They will be giving out free safety lights to encourage pedestrians to always make sure they can be seen when out and about.
The ultimate goal of these states’ initiatives is to educate, or remind, the public to practice safe commuting, and to be mindful of signs and signals put in place. Distracted driving and commuting is greater issue than many think. Pedestrians and drivers are not obeying laws and signals consistently and many are often using cell phones, texting and listening to music while walking and driving.
Something is very wrong when only 60% of pedestrians said they expected drivers to stop when they were in crosswalks, even though they have the right-of-way.