The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is joining law enforcement agencies across California to help educate the public on how to be safe when walking or driving during September as part of Pedestrian Safety Month.
September marks Pedestrian Safety Month, and law enforcement agencies across the state are working together to help educate residents on how to stay safe while walking near roads or driving around pedestrians.
“More people are out walking, exercising and doing what they can to spend a little time outdoors after spending so much time inside staying at home,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Robert Hill said in a statement Thursday. “Looking out for one another is the least we can do during these difficult times.”
Despite the impact of multiple wildfires burning throughout the state, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, pedestrian safety continues to be an ongoing concern for public safety officials.
Data from law enforcement officials show that the number of pedestrians killed or injured on California roads has “increased dramatically” since 2009, with pedestrians accounting for almost a quarter of all roadway deaths.
Additionally, the Governors Highway Association released a report earlier this year which found that pedestrian deaths in 2019 reached the “highest point in more than 30 years.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is set to have additional deputies on patrol throughout the month of September to specifically look for violations made by drivers and pedestrians that make roads unsafe.
These violations include speeding, illegal turns, failure to yield, not stopping for signs or signals, and pedestrians who do not cross in marked crosswalks or designated crossing areas.
See Related: Over 40 Citations Issued During Santa Clarita Bicycle, Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation
As recently as Monday, deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station issued over 40 citations to “unsafe” cyclists, drivers and pedestrians in a bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operation.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department offers steps drivers and pedestrians can take to be safe:
- Ditch the distractions. Keep your eyes up and phones down, especially when crossing the street.
- Always use marked crosswalks, preferably at stop signs or signals.
- Make eye contact and nod or wave at drivers. A quick nod or wave is an easy way to let a driver know you see them, and they see you.
- Be extra careful crossing streets or entering crosswalks at night when it is harder to see. Get in the habit of walking with a flashlight or wearing a reflective vest so it is easier for drivers to spot you.
- If you need to briefly walk into the street to maintain social distancing on sidewalks, remember to look both ways for cars.
- Slow down on busy streets and at intersections.
- Avoid distractions, which includes cell phones, eating, using in-dash touch screens, or turning to talk to passengers.
- Be extra careful approaching crosswalks. Be prepared to stop for pedestrians. Stop prior to the crosswalk.
- Try to avoid blocking the crosswalk when making a right-hand turn.
- Have your headlights on and slow down at night when pedestrians are difficult to see.
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