ARROYO GRANDE, CA – October is National Pedestrian Safety Month and the Arroyo Grande Police Department encourages the public to remember that everyone is a pedestrian. “Whether in a parking lot, crosswalk, or intersection, we are all pedestrians,” Arroyo Grande Chief of Police, Michael Martinez said. “Always be aware and look for pedestrians. We want those who are out walking to be safe and feel safe when traveling.”
In an effort to promote a safe walking environment in our community, Arroyo Grande Police Department will focus on locations with a higher number of incidents of vehicle crashes involving pedestrians. On October 24, officers will monitor crosswalks for drivers and pedestrians who fail to yield the right-of-way or other violations that put pedestrians at risk.
The number of pedestrians killed has grown by about 50% over the past decade, with 6,283 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes nationwide in 2018, or one traffic-related pedestrian death every 84 minutes.
Excess speed, poor lighting, crossing outside crosswalks and impairment are the main factors that lead to a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle.
Arroyo Grande Police Department offers the following tips for drivers and pedestrians:
- Slow down on busy streets and intersections.
- Always look for pedestrians in intersections. Stop and allow pedestrians to cross. Pedestrians have the right-of-way at all marked or unmarked crosswalks.
- Stay off the phone and avoid other distracting behaviors such as eating, grooming, or using in-dash touch screens.
- Do your best to not block crosswalks making a right-hand turn.
- Keep headlights on at night and be extra careful when pedestrians are harder to see.
- Obey signs and signals. Try to cross at marked crosswalks, preferably at stop signs or signals where cars expect to see pedestrians.
- 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.
- Get in the habit of walking with a flashlight or wearing a reflective vest at night so it is easier for drivers to spot you.
- If you need to briefly walk into the street to maintain social distancing on sidewalks, look both ways for passing cars.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Sergeant Jeremy Burns