LASD reminds public to ‘go safely’ this Pedestrian Safety month

FILE PHOTO: Canyon Country resident Brandon Castelli, 24, does his daily,15 mile ride on his mountain bike along Via Princessa in Santa Clarita on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. Dan Watson/The Signal

In light of Pedestrian Safety Month this September, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will join law enforcement agencies across the state to educate the public on how to be safe when walking or driving.

“More people are out walking, exercising and doing what they can to spend a little time outdoors after spending so much time inside staying at home,” Sgt. Robert Hill said in a prepared statement. “Looking out for one another is the least we can do during these difficult times.” 

Since 2009, the number of pedestrians killed or injured on California roads has increased dramatically, accounting for nearly 25% of all roadway deaths. A report released earlier this year by the Governors Highway Association projected that pedestrian deaths in 2019 reached the highest point in more than 30 years.

Additional deputies are expected to patrol neighborhoods “specifically looking for violations made by drivers and pedestrians that make roads unsafe,” such as speeding, illegal turns, failure to yield and pedestrians who do not cross in marked or designated crosswalks, LASD said in a news release. 

Tips for pedestrians:  

  • Ditch the distractions. Keep your eyes up and phones down, especially when crossing the street. 
  • Always 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 extra careful crossing streets or entering crosswalks at night when it is harder to see. Get in the habit of walking with a flashlight or wearing a reflective vest so it is easier for drivers to spot you. 

Tips for drivers:  

  • Slow down on busy streets and at intersections. 
  • Avoid distractions, which includes cell phones, eating, using in-dash touch screens, or turning to talk to passengers. 
  • Be extra careful approaching crosswalks. Be prepared to stop for pedestrians. Stop prior to the crosswalk. 
  • Try to avoid blocking the crosswalk when making a right turn. 
  • Have your headlights on and slow down at night when pedestrians are difficult to see. 

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