Increase in pedestrian crashes, TxDOT launches new campaign

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Texas Department of Transportation is launching a new campaign that urges the public to drive safely around pedestrians.

This comes as police continue to search for the drivers involved in a pair of hit-and-run collisions.

According to TxDOT El Paso, there were 232 crashes involving pedestrians last year in our district, and 31 people who died from them.

“It seems like how can we have so many crashes, but again simple things like looking left right, being seen at night, teaching the kids how to properly cross, and of course eliminate those distractions,” said Monica O’Kane, Traffic Safety Specialist with TxDOT El Paso.

TxDOT is launching the “Tired Faces” campaign which urges pedestrian and driver safety.

Up to date, there are active cases involving pedestrian deaths this year.

“An elderly woman was attempting to cross the 82-hundred block of Alameda from the south curb to the north curb. As she was crossing on the westbound lanes, a car traveling westbound struck her and fled the scene,” said Javier Sambrano with Crime Stoppers of El Paso.

Some tips you can do to avoid becoming a statistic; always look left and right before crossing, wear something that makes you visible, avoid distractions, and cross on crosswalks.

“A lot of people think well, the store is just right there, we don’t want to take that extra few feet or couple yards, but we have to remember we have to do that,” O’Kane said, “One, it’s a citable offense if you get caught. Two, things can go really bad really quick.”

For drivers; obey the speed limit, yield the right of way to pedestrians, and avoid distractions that take your eyes off the road.

“We don’t want to be changing that radio station or looking down. Looking at passengers when we’re driving, we’re wanting to talk and look at them at the same time. We don’t want to do any of that because the pedestrian can come out and any point and time,” O’Kane shared.

By following these tips and setting an example for kids, TxDOT hopes to reduce pedestrian involved accidents and deaths.

“If they see us as parents, caregivers, big brothers or sisters doing the right thing, they’re going to follow suit,” O’Kane added.

TxDOT says the Tired Faces campaign will be making a stop here in El Paso on March 31 in South-Central and the Westside.

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