The California Office of Traffic Safety is again announcing that September is “California Pedestrian Safety Month” which began last year in response to the rising number of pedestrians being killed and injured on California roadways.
Department will be joining with other law enforcement agencies, city and state transportation agencies, pedestrian advocates and walking clubs to promote public awareness aimed at both drivers and pedestrians alike to always be aware of each other and share the road responsibly.
This month draws attention to the 892 pedestrians who were killed on California roadways in 2016 alone, accounting for over 24 percent of all roadway deaths in the state, up from 17 percent just a decade ago. Most injuries are life changing and permanent.
Turlock has seen more than its fair share of fatal or injury accidents, especially those involving pedestrians, over the past few years. The California Office of Traffic Safety examined traffic reports from 2013 for 103 like-sized cities and ranked them according to the rates of occurrences. Turlock was ranked 31st for collisions that resulted in fatalities or injuries, with 365 traffic collisions. For collision involving pedestrians Turlock was 44th with 22 collisions.
In 2016, the Turlock City Council adopted a multi-pronged Collision Reduction Strategy with a focus on reducing collisions that involved motorist and non-motorized users such as pedestrians and bicyclists. The strategy involves a partnership between the Turlock Police Department and the City of Turlock’s Engineering Department. The two agencies put a focus on education and awareness in the first stages, which included traffic safety workshops with community members to discuss general safety practices, problem areas, and possible solutions.
Both drivers and walkers are cautioned to put down the cell phones, since electronic distractions are seen in increasing numbers of pedestrian crashes. Other factors for drivers include unsafe speed and failure to see and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and intersections.
For pedestrians, the major dangers are jaywalking and thinking that they can be seen at night, especially while wearing dark clothing.
The California Office of Traffic Safety continues to remind motorist that “Pedestrians Don’t Have Armor.” This public service announcement highlights the importance of pedestrian safety awareness, regardless of whether one is on foot or behind the wheel. Funding for this enforcement campaign is provided to Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.