Archive for the Category Pedestrian Safety


Minnesota Trooper Offers Bike and Pedestrian Safety Tips

A member of the Minnesota State Patrol has offered a series of pedestrian and bicycle safety tips to citizens of that state, but they would be applicable anywhere in the country.  Pedestrians are asked to always acknowledge what crosswalks signals and the like are telling them, and for their part, motorists need to understand that every corner could be a potential area for a pedestrian to cross.  Cyclists are advised to stick to the street rather than the sidewalk so as not to crash into pedestrians, and they should also move with traffic rather than against it.  Turning intentions should be made known to the drivers of other vehicles, and reflectors and lights should be used at night.

For more safety tips, click here.

Study Shows Distracted Walking Injuries Are Becoming Common

A new study out of Ohio State shows that distracted walking might actually lead to more injuries than distracted driving.  Researchers analyzed emergency room check-ins starting in 2004 and leading up to 2010, compiling information on all those persons who submitted to treatment after being injured as a cyclist, a driver, or a pedestrian.  These incidents, which were found in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, showed that 1,506 pedestrians were injured because of distracted walking, a number that’s actually higher than the same number for driving.  Researchers figure that the number of incidents is greater once you take fatalities and non check-ins into account.  Among the injurious incidents flagged were a teenager on a phone walking into a ditch and an adult male walking into a pole.

Click here for more about the research.

Survey Details Prevalence and Danger of Distracted Walking

Liberty Mutual Insurance today released the results of their Pedestrian Safety Survey, and the findings speak to both the prevalence and danger of distracted walking.  Although distraction at the wheel gets heaps of attention in the news, numerous distractions exist which can compromise the safety of a pedestrian.  55% of the 1,000 persons surveyed explained that they believe texting while crossing a street is hazardous, and yet more than one in four individuals admitted to taking part in that activity.  Other activities deemed unsafe included speaking on a phone, listening to music, and attempting to get across quickly to avoid imminent traffic.  Drivers were also polled as to the safety of these activities at the wheel, and nine in ten explained that texting compromises the safety of persons on foot.

For more about the survey, follow this link.

Eureka Seeks to Improve Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety

Concerned about a rash of pedestrian accidents, officials with the city of Eureka are attempting to lock down funding for a safety campaign.  Officials point to California Office of Traffic Safety statistics which suggest that, given its size, Eureka has the highest bicycle and pedestrian injurious and fatal crash rates in the entire state.  If grant money can be obtained, the city will hire a consultant whose duty it will be to put together a campaign that seeks to spread awareness and cut down on accidents throughout the city.  Such an initiative has drawn the support of the local police department and a councilwoman on the Transportation Safety Commission.

For more about the campaign, click here.

Pedestrians, Cyclists, and Motorists Must Cooperate for Safety

An Ask a Trooper feature found in a Minnesota newspaper nevertheless holds some valuable insights for persons in California.  The officer provides some important tips focused on ensuring pedestrian and bicycle safety.  First, drivers should realize that not all pedestrians are going to use only marked crosswalks.  Every single corner should prompt extra precautions, especially if a pedestrian looks ready to cross.  They should be given the right of way in those circumstances.  For their part, persons on foot ought to obey all posted signage and traffic signals and only cross when appropriate to do so.  Cyclists must basically act as if they were motor vehicles, riding with traffic, making turning intentions known, and following the directives of signage.  Visibility should also be encouraged among pedestrians and cyclists alike.

For more tips, follow this link.

Bay Area Pedestrian Fatalities Often Don’t Lead to Criminal Charges

An analysis by the Center for Investigative Reporting attempted to deduce what types of punishments typically befall those automobile drivers whose actions led to the death of a pedestrian along the road.  In looking at the 238 pedestrian fatalities attributed to a driver fault or suspected fault in the Bay Area over the course of four years, researchers discovered that a full 60% of drivers escaped criminal charges.  The reason for this, according to the report, is that juries are thought to sympathize with drivers, and in many cases, the burden of going beyond reasonable doubt is hard to overcome.  This issue is particularly important in Berkeley, which in 2010 was named the most dangerous city for pedestrians in all of California.

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D.C. Safety Campaign Features Tire Treads on Pedestrians’ Faces

A pedestrian safety campaign recently enacted in and around Washington D.C. has some people complaining about the graphic nature of the ads.  The campaign features a series of images emblazoned upon the sides of local buses.  They feature a photo of a face that has a tire track splashed across it.  Phrases found near the image explain that pedestrians can’t rely on airbags and that a person on foot can’t be fixed in a body shop.  Street Smart put together the ad campaign, and they believe that the eye-opening nature of the ads is essential to getting drivers and pedestrians to place more attention on safety.  They hope the ads can curtail the estimated 2,600 injuries and 90 fatalities that occur in D.C. every year.

For more information about the campaign, follow this link.

Florida DOT Sponsors NASCAR Vehicle for Pedestrian Safety Awareness

This Saturday will find the Daytona International Speedway playing host to the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, and the Department of Transportation of the state of Florida hopes to take advantage of the event to raise awareness about the importance of pedestrian and bicyclist safety.  In an effort to promote their Alert Today Alive Tomorrow safety campaign, the agency has paid nearly $175,000 in order to sponsor one of the cars taking part in the race.  The campaign is designed to help improve Florida’s standing as the most dangerous place in the country for persons on foot (or bike).  An estimated ten pedestrians are fatally injured every single week in the state because they were hit by a vehicle, and efforts like this aim to change that.

For more information, follow this link.

Beatles Album Cover Used to Promote Pedestrian Safety in Calcutta

Now here’s an interesting way to get citizens to care more about pedestrian safety.  In Calcutta, India, an awareness campaign utilizing the iconic Abbey Road album cover has been launched.  The cover, which features the four members of the Beatles traversing an intersection via a crosswalk, will be seen in billboards throughout the area.    Also attached to the image will be a message stating, “If they can, why can’t you?”  This is reportedly the latest in a series of creative campaigns put forth by police and safety officials.  Two years ago, a campaign was held in which music would play at intersections whenever a traffic light would switch over to red.

For more information, follow this link.

Pedestrian Advisory Committee Likely On The Way to Tucson

A recent tragedy in Tucson, Arizona casts a spotlight on how important it is to improve pedestrian safety in the area.  A man was killed while crossing a street whose lights had apparently gone out.  The Tucson City Council will meet tomorrow night, and a new report suggests that the legislative body will give the go-ahead to the establishment of a Pedestrian Advisory Committee.  Once this group is formed, it will be responsible for seeing to the needs of pedestrians along city roads.  The Living Streets Alliance has voiced support for the creation of the group.  Details are still being ironed out, including how many people will comprise the group, but a member of the LSA suggests that the committee will likely be composed of pedestrian and cycling advocates and other community representatives who understand the specific needs of their neighborhoods.

To learn more, follow this link.

MPO Seeks to Improve Pedestrian Safety With Guidelines

The Metro Planning Organization is attempting to get cities across the country to improve their infrastructure so as to encourage pedestrian safety.  They’re doing so by promoting an action plan that provides a guide on how to create new safety measures while improving upon those structures that are already in place.  The plan would provide a framework for ensuring that any new construction projects receive bike lanes, sidewalks, and other safety measures.  Universal City, which played host to the meeting where the plans were unveiled, was used as an example of a place that would benefit from new safety measures.  Attendees stated that speed bumps and stop signs could be used to supplement existing bike lanes and pedestrian pathways in that area.

Click here to learn more.

Officers Promote Pedestrian Safety in South Carolina

In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a recent fatality has put a spotlight on the need for drivers and pedestrians to travel safely.  The South Carolina Highway Patrol has of late made a concerted effort to educate people about the importance of staying safe while crossing the streets.  They have enacted a campaign called “Stop.  Education.  Enforce,” (or SEE), to stress the need to use crosswalks and only move across the gap at appropriate times.  Although various efforts to speak with errant pedestrians led to contact only 3,000 times in 2011, that number increased to 7,000 throughout the state last year.  In the report, pedestrians also offered their thoughts on the safest ways to cross the street.

Click here for more information.

LAPD Cracks Down on Pedestrian Safety Violations in Van Nuys

This morning, officers with the Los Angeles Police Department set out to crack down on pedestrian safety violations in Van Nuys.  Plainclothes officers posed as pedestrians in order to detect drivers who ignored their rights and to spot pedestrians who refused to cross at a crosswalk or crossed when it wasn’t their turn.  In addition to this operation, authorities have also put together a series of safety tips that should be followed to ensure safety.  Not surprisingly, drivers are cautioned to follow the posted speed limit and refrain from distractions so that they can keep their eyes peeled for pedestrians at all times.  Pedestrians can increase their visibility with bright clothing, and they can further protect themselves by heeding provided signals and being on the lookout for drivers who look like they don’t intend to stop.

Click here to learn more about the operation.

Pedestrian Safety Gets Renewed Focus By San Francisco Supervisor

The new supervisor of the District Seven area of San Francisco, which encompasses such neighborhoods as Forest Hill, Park Merced, and West Portal, is making pedestrian safety a priority of his time in office.  He’s asking for details about the most dangerous intersections in the area, crashes affecting pedestrians, and future and ongoing safety projects that can cut down on potential hazards.  The Municipal Transportation Agency as well as the Departments of Public Health and Public Works have been tasked with looking into the matter, which was brought up at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors.  Walk San Francisco is a proponent of his efforts, and a representative hopes that the requests of citizens for improvements will finally be answered.

Click here to learn more about these efforts.

Pedestrian Safety Improvements Called For in Lockwood, Montana

A recent tragedy in which a teenage pedestrian was killed by a passing truck has prompted residents of Lockwood, Montana to call for improvements to pedestrian safety in the area.  The family of the victim thinks that additional signage for the troubled area is warranted, as is a decrease to the current speed limit.  They would like to see the limit brought down to 25 miles per hour.  County commissioners have apparently heeded these requests and have tasked the city’s legal team with coming up with amendments that would allow new sidewalks and lighting.  One Commissioner also said that the speed limit could be altered following a speed study.

Click here to learn more.

Las Vegas Woman Raises Pedestrian Safety Awareness

A Las Vegas woman who lost her stepson in a pedestrian accident is trying to get the word out about the importance of keeping one’s speed in check in order to prevent colliding with those on foot.  She recently sought to spread her message by engaging in a race called Running From An Angel.  The individual dedicated her efforts to the many child pedestrians who have died because they were involved in a traffic collision.  Her recent attempts to promote the installation of new crosswalks in the area were to no avail, but shortly thereafter, the woman came across a safety organization known as Keep Kids Alive Drive 25.  Both she and the organization, which does not currently have a foothold in Vegas, believe lives can be saved if drivers go the speed limit, especially in areas where children might be present.

Click here to learn more.

New York Child Pedestrian Safety Improvements Produce Results

A study out of New York’s Columbia University recently determined that the numerous pedestrian safety measures enacted around schools throughout New York City appear to have had a positive impact thus far.  As part of the Safe Routes to School program, the Transportation Department of the city was able to enact measures at those schools that were most susceptible to pedestrian injuries.  Things like speed bumps, traffic lights, and new signals geared toward pedestrians were put in place to ensure the safety of children headed to school.  By looking at the period of time between 2001 and 2010, researchers were able to deduce that those schools that benefited from new safety programs saw injury rates reduced by 44%.

Click here for more about the study.

Superior, Wisconsin Police Crack Down on Pedestrian Endangerment

Police in Superior, Wisconsin are making a concerted effort to make the area safer for people on foot.  Recently, the local police department has fielded numerous complaints from pedestrians who say drivers are not giving people in crosswalks the proper right of way.  Such a move by drivers would bring the vehicle operators out of compliance with state law, which requires drivers to yield to pedestrians.  Officers will be placed in areas within the city that experience heavy pedestrian traffic, and any driver believed to be endangering pedestrians could find themselves on the receiving end of a ticket.  Such a citation is no slap on the wrist either:  four points are assessed, and drivers would have to pay $326.50.

For more information, follow this link.

Baldwin Park Seeks to Improve Child Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

$235,000 is going to Baldwin Park, California so that the city can beef up its efforts to ensure that pedestrians, especially children, are safe from harm.  The California Department of Transportation provided the grant, which will aid the Safe Routes to School plan in place in the city.  The money will go toward helping the project concentrate student cyclists and pedestrians on those routes deemed most safe for students.  Maps detailing such safe routes will be distributed to concerned parties in the city’s neighborhoods.  Kids on both bicycles and on foot are thought to benefit from such a measure.

Follow this link for more information.

San Francisco Officials Tout Upcoming Pedestrian Safety Report

Various officials in San Francisco recently took the time to discuss the upcoming release of a Pedestrian Safety Task Force report that they hope can lead to a reduction in the number of injuries and fatalities which occur in the city.  The Police Chief, the Mayor, and others gathered on Powell Street, a venue that is typically bustling with people on foot and behind the wheels of vehicles, especially during the Christmas season.  The report they previewed will include recommendations on how to improve pedestrian infrastructure, slow down vehicles, educate citizens, and enforce the current laws on the books.  Officials hope pedestrian fatalities can be cut in half by 2021.

For more information, click here.