During the annual National Pedestrian Safety Month taking place in October, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is stepping up its efforts to enhance safety and educate the public on how to keep pedestrians safe.
“Pedestrians lose their lives on California's roads every day, and the problem is getting worse. Fortunately, there’s a simple remedy: pay attention and slow down, whether walking, pedaling, or driving," Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin said in a statement.
Pedestrian deaths have steadily increased nationally over the last decade, up more than 40% since 2010. In California, pedestrians account for nearly a quarter of all fatalities on public roads, significantly higher than the national average, according to a press release from Caltrans.
Caltrans says it is working to enhance pedestrian safety on the state highway system by investigating high-risk locations to determine the best safety improvements. Such improvements include:
- Signal timing enhancement and extended pedestrian crossing times.
- Intersection and roadway design changes, such as sidewalks, curb extensions, and roundabouts or raised intersections that provide enhanced pedestrian safety in high traffic locations.
- New pedestrian signs and markings, including high-visibility crosswalks, advanced stop and yield markings, or "yield to pedestrian" signs.
Caltrans has already implemented these safety measures at several locations and is working to identify further safety improvements. The agency is also using National Pedestrian Safety Month to highlight easy-to-follow tips for both motorists and pedestrians to look out for one another.