September is Pedestrian Safety Month and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will be joining the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), along with other law enforcement agencies, transportation agencies and pedestrian advocates to promote public awareness aimed at pedestrian safety.
Both in California and nationally, the number of pedestrians killed or injured on roadways is rising at alarming rates. In 2016, 867 pedestrians were killed and more than 14,000 injured in California alone, a nearly 33 percent increase from 2012. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigated 35 pedestrian fatal collisions and another 69 major injury collisions.
Traffic deputies working overtime and others on routine patrol will be focusing enforcement both on drivers as well as pedestrians who violate traffic laws, such as speeding, making illegal turns, driving distracted, failing to stop for signs and signals, or failing to yield to drivers or pedestrians.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department supports efforts by OTS to educate drivers that “Pedestrians Don’t Have Armor.” This campaign highlights the importance of pedestrian safety awareness, regardless of whether one is on foot or behind the wheel.
Pedestrians should always use crosswalks or intersections with a stop sign or light, make eye contact with drivers and look before stepping into a crosswalk. Drivers should be alert for pedestrians, use caution when backing up and be courteous and patient, waiting for pedestrians with right of way to safely cross street. Both drivers and pedestrians should avoid distractions by not using cell phones and focusing on the task at hand.
Safety goes both ways, and drivers and pedestrians must work together to exhibit safe behaviors that protect themselves and those around them, reducing injuries and saving lives.
Funding for this enforcement campaign is provided to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.