SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In answer to rapidly increasing numbers of pedestrians being killed and injured on California roadways, the California State Senate has passed a resolution declaring September as “California Pedestrian Safety Month.” The month also marks the beginning of a public awareness campaign aimed at both drivers and pedestrians alike to always be aware of each other and share the road responsibly.
The resolution was sponsored by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) and supported by the State Transportation Agency, Office of Traffic Safety, California Highway Patrol, Caltrans and Department of Motor Vehicles. It draws attention to the 813 pedestrians killed on California roadways in 2015 alone, accounting for nearly 25 percent of all roadways deaths in the state, up from 17 percent just ten years earlier.
“Safety while walking on our streets and sidewalks is everyone’s concern, whether you are a driver, cyclist or pedestrian,” said Senator Beall. “This resolution highlights the state’s recognition that each of us has to understand how serious this problem is and do our part to share the roads safely.”
The public education campaign, “Pedestrians Don’t Have Armor,” highlights the importance of pedestrian safety awareness, whether one is on foot or behind the wheel. At the center of the campaign are characters, clad in body armor made from car parts, that represent everyday pedestrians. These characters remind everyone that in real life, pedestrians don’t have armor and always lose when hit by a vehicle, no matter who is at fault.
“This important issue impacts communities around our state, whether you’re the one behind the wheel or walking, we all need to pay closer attention to our surroundings,” said Rhonda Craft, director of the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). “While traffic safety awareness is a year-round effort, designating September as Pedestrian Safety Month gives us the opportunity to really focus our education efforts and re-introduce Californians to these issues year after year.”
In addition, Caltrans has kicked off its new California State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. It will be a visionary and comprehensive policy plan that will support active modes of transportation and create a framework to increase safe bicycling and walking. The CHP is emphasizing safe walking through its international award winning California Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Enforcement and Education Project.
“Pedestrian safety is a top priority for the Department,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Through education and pedestrian safety-enforcement operations we are working with our traffic safety partners to increase safety throughout the state.”