In an effort to mitigate the problem of traffic fatalities and injuries to pedestrians, the California Office of Traffic Safety has named September California Pedestrian Safety Month for the second year in a row.
The awareness campaign was launched September of 2016 to address the rising number of pedestrians who are seriously hurt and killed on California roads. Safety officials hope that drawing attention to this important issue will help everyone – motorists and pedestrians alike – share the road safely.
A troubling rise in pedestrian deaths
Without the protection of a vehicle, pedestrians are some of the most vulnerable people using California roadways. If a pedestrian survives a collision with a car, truck or other vehicle, they are likely to experience severe injuries that require extensive medical attention.
The OTS gave some sobering context that reinforces the importance of pedestrian safety:
- In 2016, 892 pedestrians were killed in California.
- That accounts for nearly a quarter of all roadway deaths in the state, a sobering increase from 17 percent a decade earlier.
- During the same year, law enforcement officials investigated 35 pedestrian fatalities and 69 major injury collisions in Los Angeles County alone.
- It is difficult to identify the cause of the jump in pedestrian fatalities, but officials have named both distracted driving and increased traffic as possible factors.
Promoting pedestrian safety
As part of the campaign, safety officials will be collaborating with law enforcement agencies, transportation groups and pedestrian advocates to spread the word about safe traffic habits. Traffic officers will also be working overtime to patrol locations where pedestrian collisions are likely to occur.
As California Pedestrian Safety Month continues, we’ll continue to cover topics related to pedestrian safety in Los Angeles. Stay tuned for blog posts about dangerous intersections, safety tips and some legal basics.