"Pedestrians are the least physically protected and most vulnerable users of our transportation network," said Brian O. Martin, AICP, executive director of MVRPC. "When we learned how pedestrian fatalities rose by 10% nationally from 2014 to 2015 and, even more dramatically, how they doubled in Ohio during the same time period, we knew we had to raise awareness about this deadly issue. We are all pedestrians for at least a part of our trip to and from our bus, bicycle, automobile, parking garage, home or employer."
In the Dayton area, you can see Street Smart posters, billboards, bus ads and more that feature the message "You can't fix a pedestrian in a body shop." Photos of men, women, and children with black tire tracks across their faces remind drivers that pedestrians are defenseless against a vehicle. The campaign also provides these guidelines…
- Be alert for pedestrians, especially in low-light situations.
- Always yield to pedestrians – it is better to focus on safety than on who is "right."
- Obey all traffic and speed laws, especially red light and stop sign regulations.
- Be particularly careful around buses – look out for passengers getting on and off.
- Keep your eyes on the road and don't drive distracted.
- Use a sidewalk, if there is one, and if you must walk in the street, walk on the left, facing
- Wear light-colored or reflective clothing at night, at dawn or at dusk.
- Consider wearing lights or just carry a flashlight, if you regularly walk or jog at night.
- Use crosswalks when they are available.
- Make eye contact with any approaching vehicle's driver, even if it is your turn to cross at a light.
- Watch out for turning vehicles at intersections, even if you have the pedestrian crossing signal.
- Look out for drivers who seem distracted or who are driving strangely. Move farther away from the road if you are concerned.
- Don't walk distracted. Look up from your cellphone when crossing a street or, better still, put it away entirely when walking along a busy road.
Everyone should remember that, not only can driving under the influence be fatal, but walking under the influence can be, too. To learn more about pedestrian safety, visit www.MVRPC.org/street-smart