In light of recent pedestrian deaths, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is drawing attention to the issue of pedestrian safety. The safety campaign launched today reminds drivers to use extra caution around pedestrians.
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Everyone has different preferences when it comes to transportation, but at one time or another everyone is a pedestrian. In 2018, 90 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in Colorado, up 40% since 2015. In 2019, 38 pedestrians have been killed so far this year – a 28% decrease from this time last year when 53 deaths had occurred. In 2018, there were 1,544 crashes involving pedestrians in Colorado.
The pedestrian safety campaign kicked off with CDOT deploying giant eyeballs to raise awareness of pedestrians at intersections. The eyeballs encouraged pedestrians and drivers alike to make eye contact when they encounter each other at crosswalks. This helps ensure the safety of pedestrians before they cross the street.
“As more and more people use mobility options that do not involve driving, we must do all we can to ensure their safety,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “This includes slowing down and watching for pedestrians, especially in urban areas.”
CDOT recommends these safety tips to drivers and pedestrians:
Make eye contact or nod
Eye contact and a quick nod is an easy way to confirm that both the driver and pedestrian see and acknowledge the other.
Always use crosswalks
Most crashes occur at non-intersections, so the safest place to cross a street is at the intersection crosswalk. Drivers should use extra caution when approaching or at crosswalks.
Follow the rules of the road
The crosswalk is a no-car zone — Motorists need to stop prior to the crosswalk. Pedestrians should press the crosswalk button, wait for the WALK signal, then look both ways and over their shoulder prior to entering the crosswalk.
Nighttime is the worst time
At night, drivers should turn on headlights and slow down. Pedestrians should remember they’re harder to be seen at night and use extra caution
Eliminate distractions while driving and walking.
Avoid use of cell phones and other distractions.
With this campaign, CDOT aims to change the behaviors of drivers and pedestrians for Whole System – Whole Safety so everyone is safe on Colorado’s roadways.
CDOT will be reaching pedestrians and drivers on social media, radio ads, as well as digital and static billboards over the next few weeks.