Gov. Andy Beshear notes October is National Pedestrian Safety Month
‘We’re asking every driver to watch for pedestrians’
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) - Gov. Andy Beshear, whose Better Kentucky Plan includes an emphasis on highway safety, today announced that October is National Pedestrian Safety Month.
“We’re asking every driver to watch for pedestrians as you would if it was one of your friends or family members, and we’re asking every pedestrian to be fully aware of your surroundings,” said Gov. Beshear. “In any crash involving a vehicle and a pedestrian, the pedestrian is far more likely to be killed or injured. Practical habits, especially putting your phone down while driving or walking, can save dozens of Kentuckians’ lives every year.”
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to promote National Pedestrian Safety Month.
Staying alert is especially important as the end of Daylight Saving Time approaches and it gets dark earlier. According to NHTSA, most crash-related pedestrian fatalities occur at night.
Of 75 pedestrian deaths in Kentucky last year, 60 occurred after dark. So far this year, there have been 62 pedestrian deaths, 39 of which occurred after dark.
The KOHS and NHTSA recommend the following behaviors to improve safety for all road users:
- Put the phone down and pay attention. Driving while distracted increases risk for all road users.
- Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Be especially careful at intersections when turning onto another street.
- Keep your windshield, windows, and mirrors clean so you can scan the road ahead and establish a “visual lead.”
- Obey the speed limit. Driving at the posted limit allows you to see, identify and react in time to brake for pedestrians.
- Slow down and turn on your headlights during evening hours when you need more time to see a pedestrian in your path.
- Be aware in neighborhoods and school zones. Children are often the smallest pedestrians, making them harder to see. Additionally, younger children may dart into intersections without understanding the dangers.
- Drive sober. As with pedestrians, alcohol and drugs affect judgment, balance, and reaction time. Always make a plan for a safe ride home.
- Buckle up. Wearing a seat belt gives you the best protection against injury and death.
- Use crosswalks when available. Avoid jaywalking and crossing between parked vehicles.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If you must walk on the street, walk facing traffic.
- Don’t depend on the traffic signal to protect you. Motorists may be distracted, especially when adjusting to the nighttime travel environment.
- Increase visibility, especially at night. Carry a flashlight, wear reflective clothing or attach reflective materials - such as fluorescent tape - to clothing, backpacks, purses, and briefcases. These materials reflect light from headlights back to drivers, making it easier to see you.
- Just because you can see a motorist does not mean the motorist can see you. If you cannot make eye contact or do not see the driver slow down for you, wait until the vehicle passes, even if you have the right of way.
- Put the phone down and pay attention. Distraction changes the way you walk, react and behave, including safety-related behaviors.
- Use caution if intoxicated. While you may be doing the right thing by not drinking and driving, risk still exists. Alcohol and drugs affect judgment, balance, and reaction time, so always make a plan for a safe ride home.
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