September is Pedestrian Safety Month!
This year's Pedestrian Safety month looks very different during COVID-19, with communities practicing social distancing, essential workers traveling to their work while others work from home, students are returning to school virtually, and in some cases activities are resuming and businesses are reopening as it is safe to do so. In the midst of this, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) is encouraging all of us to look out for one another.
"It comes down to awareness, education, and changing behaviors." says Tim Weisberg from the Office of Traffic Safety. "We're all a little bit stir crazy right now and eager to go out...to some sort of outdoor activity that brings us back to some sense of normalcy. But with that said, it's critical that we do so safely, remain mindful of those around us so that we can get home safely."
Traffic safety partners and local law enforcement agencies throughout the State have partnered with OTS to offer safety tips for people driving and out walking during the safety month.
Safety Tips for People Driving
- Slow down on busy streets and at intersections.
- Avoid distractions, which includes cell phones, eating, using in-dash touch screens, or turning to talk to passengers.
- Be extra careful approaching crosswalks. Be prepared to stop for pedestrians. Stop prior to the crosswalk.
- Try to avoid blocking the crosswalk when making a right-hand turn.
- Have your headlights on and slow down at night when pedestrians are difficult to see.
Safety Tips for People Walking
- Be alert. Keep your eyes up and phones down, especially when crossing the street.
- Always use marked crosswalks, preferably at stop signs or signals.
- Be seen. Let a driver know you see them, and they see you.
- Be extra careful crossing streets or entering crosswalks at night when it is harder to see.
- If you need to briefly walk into the street to maintain social distancing on sidewalks, remember to look both ways for cars.
Pedestrian Safety During COVID-19 Resources
Explore our sampling of resources from traffic safety partners and advocacy organizations throughout the state and beyond!
California Office of Traffic Safety: Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety, Go Safely CA.
California Highway Patrol: Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety.
- Explore our Advocacy Groups Inventory for organizations throughout the state working to make communities safer for walking.
NHTSA: Pedestrian Safety
This news item was originally posted on the California Active Transportation Safety Information Pages (CATSIP) website on September 18, 2020.