September marks Pedestrian Safety Month, with the goal to reduce the numbers of pedestrians being killed and injured on California roadways. Monterey Park Police Department, as well as state agencies, community partners and law enforcement agencies throughout the state are urging pedestrians and drivers alike to be aware of each other at all times and share the road responsibly.
Pedestrian deaths are on the rise both in California and nationally. In 2016, 867 pedestrians were killed and more than 14,000 were injured on California roadways alone. Since 2012, pedestrian deaths have increased by nearly 33 percent, growing substantially faster than any other type of traffic-related death.
Over the course of the past three years Monterey Park has witnessed two pedestrians killed and another 84 pedestrians injured.
In order to reverse this upward trend of pedestrian injuries and deaths, Monterey Park Police Department is joining the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) in their efforts to remind the public that “Pedestrians Don’t Have Armor.” The campaign highlights the importance of pedestrian safety, whether one is on foot or behind the wheel. The campaign features everyday pedestrians clad in body armor made from car parts, a symbol that in real life, pedestrians don’t have any protection when hit by a vehicle, no matter who is at fault.
“Pedestrian safety goes both ways,” OTS Director Rhonda Craft said. “Whether you are walking or driving, there is a shared responsibility when it comes to looking out for one another.”
The Monterey Park Police Department, OTS, law enforcement agencies, and other community partners will use Pedestrian Safety Month as a way to educate the public about traffic rights, rules and responsibilities, as well as identify trouble spots where there are higher incidents of pedestrian versus vehicle collisions.
To ensure we can all get where we need to go safely, Monterey Park Police Department offers tips for pedestrians and drivers.
- Be obvious and predictable, crossing at crosswalks or intersections only, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible if there is no sidewalk.
- Make eye contact with drivers; never assume a driver sees you.
- Look left-right-left before you step into the crosswalk: having a green light or the “WALK” signal does not mean it is safe to cross.
- Look for cars backing up, including white backup lights or signs the vehicle is running. Don’t dart out between parked cars.
- Avoid distractions. Don’t walk and use your phone at the same time.
- Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials (or use a flashlight) at night.
- Be alert for pedestrians, especially at intersections and crosswalks where they have the right of way.
- Put down the cell phone and just drive.
- Use extra caution when backing up. Look for bicyclists or pedestrians who may be approaching.
- Be patient and courteous. Wait for pedestrians to cross street or intersection before proceeding.
Sergeant David Elliott, Monterey Park Police Department