It's California’s second annual Pedestrian Safety Month. Both drivers and walkers will be seeing more information about how to avoid accidents.
Traffic safety data shows a gradual rise in pedestrian deaths in California since the mid-90s. There were an estimated 900 fatalities in 2016.
Department spokesperson Chris Cochran says it all comes down to paying attention.
“In any encounter with a vehicle, the pedestrian is going to come out on the bad end of the deal, so no matter who’s at fault, everybody should be on the lookout for their safety. Whether a pedestrian or a driver, look out for the other guy.”
Cochran says more people are walking these days - for recreation, for exercise, or out of necessity. That trend, on top of constant technological distractions, may be leading to the high walker accident rates.
Kirin Kumar runs WALK Sacramento, a non-profit group that advocates for safe walking. He says it's important for pedestrian safety to be as visible as drunk driving or other high-profile traffic campaigns.
“The way that the planning world has evolved over the years is to realize that if we are to meet our health and safety, sustainability, air quality goals we have to focus on the right mix of road users and pedestrians being a significant amount of that.”
Even if it seems obvious, Kumar says both drivers and walkers need reminders about crosswalk basics. And everyone needs to keep their eyes on the road.