This year, the U.S. Department of Transportation has designated October as the first-ever National Pedestrian Safety Month. Organizations like Caltrans are “refining their data-driven programs to enhance pedestrian safety and reduce injury and death on California roadways”.
California Pedestrian Data
According to Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin, “at least two pedestrians or cyclists lose their lives on California’s transportation system each day — a number we refuse to accept or normalize. Safety remains our top priority and the department will work diligently until the trend is reversed. Data-driven augmentations to safety features and a recent $100 million investment dedicated to pedestrian-focused infrastructure improvements will help enhance safety for those who walk and bike on California roadways.”
Recent studies show that pedestrian deaths have increased nationwide over the last ten years. Caltrans has shared that in California, pedestrians are 37 times more likely to be injured in a collision than any other roadway user. Between 2008 and 2017, pedestrian-related incidents accounted for 19 percent of all collisions resulting in death or serious injury.
Solutions for Increasing Pedestrian Safety
After reviewing traffic collision data, Caltrans is enhancing pedestrian safety measures at high-risk locations. They are using a first-of-its-kind pedestrian safety toolbox that includes 47 countermeasures to enhance pedestrian safety on the state highway system. Caltrans is already implementing these safety measures and expects to identify further safety improvements by September 2021.
The California Transportation Commission has also approved $100 million for projects that promote active transportation options, such as 310 miles of new and repaired bike lanes, installation and repair of nearly 50 miles of sidewalk, 3,000 new crosswalks, and 178 transit stop improvements, such as bus shelters.
The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) is also providing more than $8 million in funding for programs dedicated to the safe and equal access of roads for pedestrians.
Caltrans’ Tips for Pedestrian Safety
Caltrans has shared these safety tips for motorists and pedestrians to follow:
Tips for drivers:
- Slow down on busy streets and intersections.
- Avoid distractions like cell phones, eating, using in-dash touch screens, or deep conversations with passengers.
- Be extra careful when approaching crosswalks.
- Be prepared to stop for pedestrians.
- Avoid blocking crosswalks when making a right-hand turn.
- Turn headlights on and slow down at night when pedestrians are more difficult to see.
Tips for pedestrians:
- Stay off the phone, especially when crossing the street.
- Always try to use marked crosswalks, preferably at stop signs or signals.
- Make eye contact and nod or wave at drivers. A quick nod or wave is an easy way to let a driver know you see them, and they see you.
- Be careful crossing streets or entering crosswalks at night when you’re more difficult to see.
- Walk with a flashlight and wear a reflective vest at night to make it easier for drivers to see you.
- Remember to look both ways for cars if you need to briefly walk into the street to maintain social distancing on sidewalks.
Safety at G3 Quality
At G3 Quality, we are an elite team of engineers and professionals who put the safety of our team, partners, and our community first.
We provide world-class quality management, pavement engineering, materials design, construction inspection, and testing on infrastructure projects throughout California and the western United States.
To learn more about how G3 Quality can contribute knowledge, expertise, consulting, and professional services to your project, contact us.