EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Texas Department of Transportation is launching a new pedestrian safety campaign beginning this week.
According to a press release, the new campaign includes new graphics, PSA’s, and highly visible “walking billboards” at socially distanced campaign events.
Signs will have reminders such as: ‘pedestrians don’t come with airbags’ and ‘you can’t fix a pedestrian at a body shop.’
This, in efforts to remind drivers and walkers why it’s important to follow traffic laws and watch out for one another.
Texas officials warn that pedestrian deaths continue to increase and now account for 1 in 5 of all traffic fatalities.
According to the TxDot press release, drivers and pedestrians need to obey the rules of the road, stay alert and take responsibility for looking out for pedestrians, and for pedestrians to follow safety tips.
Some safety tips to prevent deadly encounters include:
- When turning, yield the right of way to pedestrians.
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.
- Be cautious when passing stopped buses or other vehicles.
- Pay attention and put your phone away—pedestrians may enter your path suddenly.
- Obey the speed limit and drive to conditions
- Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks. Look left, right, then left again before crossing.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing. Don’t assume drivers see you.
- Obey all traffic and crosswalks signals.
- Use the sidewalk. If there isn’t one, walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
- When walking, put away electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.
- Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night
In 2019 alone, 5,975 traffic crashes involving pedestrians occurred in Texas, resulting in 669 deaths, a 5% increase in fatalities over the previous year. Another 1,317 people were seriously injured, the release said.