|County, Safe Streets Coalition team to boost pedestrian safety
Every hour a pedestrian is injured or killed in California. Pedestrians accounted for nearly one out of five deaths in traffic collisions in 2009 – roughly 58 percent more than the national average.
To address this tragic fact, the County of Sonoma in conjunction with the Sonoma County Safe Streets Coalition and the California Department of Public Health are launching a new “It’s Up to All of Us” public education campaign to remind residents to create a safer environment for pedestrians.
The campaign will use public advertising, internet and community outreach to promote targeted messages that focus on reducing pedestrian fatalities and injuries. In a series of ads, drivers receive the messages: “Drive Like Our Lives Depend On It” and “Slow Down,” “Look Out for Others” and “Don’t Drive Distracted.” Pedestrians will be asked to “Stay Alert – Stay Alive” and “Look Up, Look Around,” “Don’t Assume You’re Seen,” and “Walk Safely, Your Life Depends On It.”
The campaign is aimed at reducing vehicle speeds and driving without distractions such as cell phones, encouraging pedestrians to not text or talk on the phone when crossing streets, to look both ways, to always look up and never assume they are seen by motorists.
The simple step of slowing down and being more aware can have a significant difference in driver and pedestrian safety. Research shows that as vehicle speeds decrease, so too do fatalities; only about five percent of pedestrians are likely to be killed when struck at 20 mph, whereas nearly 80 percent of pedestrians are likely to be killed when struck at 40 mph.
The “It’s Up to All of Us” Campaign is made possible by the California Department of Public Health, through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.