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September is Pedestrian Safety Month: Be Predictable, Look Out for One Another

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SANTA ANA, Ca. (September 1, 2021): As part of Pedestrian Safety Month, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department is supporting efforts throughout September to improve pedestrian safety and help reduce crashes and injuries.

Pedestrians are more and more at risk on the road. Based on data from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 2020 had the largest ever annual increase, 21 percent, in the rate at which drivers struck and killed pedestrians. In California, pedestrian deaths accounted for 27 percent of all traffic-related deaths in 2019.

For the safety of everyone walking or driving, OCSD will have additional officers on patrol throughout September looking for California Vehicle Code (CVC) violations pertaining to drivers and pedestrians.

These violations include right-of-way at crosswalks, illegal turns and not stopping for signs or signals (e.g., right turn on red or red light running), and speeding.

OCSD offers steps drivers and pedestrians can take to greatly reduce the risk of getting injured or in a crash, including staying off the phone when behind the wheel or walking:

Pedestrians

  • Be predictable. Use crosswalks.
  • Take notice of approaching vehicles and practice due care.
  • Do not walk or run into the path of a vehicle. No vehicle can stop instantly. At 30 m.p.h., a driver needs at least 90 feet to stop.
  • Be visible. Make it easy for drivers to see you – wear light colors, reflective material and carry a flashlight, particularly at dawn, dusk or at night.
  • Be extra careful crossing streets or entering crosswalks at night when it is harder to see, or when crossing busier streets with more lanes and higher speed limits.

Drivers

  • Follow the speed limit and slow down at intersections. Be prepared to stop for pedestrians at marked and unmarked crosswalks.
  • Avoid blocking crosswalks while waiting to make a right-hand turn.
  • Never drive impaired.

 Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.