September 1 marked the beginning of California Pedestrian Safety Month. First implemented in 2016 by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), the goal of Pedestrian Safety Month is to reduce the number of pedestrians killed and injured on California roadways. The City of San Leandro joins with agencies, community partners and law enforcement throughout the state to urge pedestrians and motorists alike to be aware of each other at all times and share the road responsibly.
“Zero is the only acceptable number when it comes to pedestrian loss of life or injuries on our streets,” said Mayor Pauline Cutter. “It is imperative we learn about pedestrian safety, whether you walk, bike or drive.”
In 2015, 852 pedestrians were killed and over 13,000 were injured on California’s roadways alone. Preliminary figures indicate that 2016 may reach a modern record high of 900 fatalities. Pedestrians account for nearly 25 percent of all roadway deaths in the state, up from 17 percent just ten years earlier. Between July 2013 and June 2016, three pedestrian fatalities and seventy-four pedestrian injuries –many resulting in life-changing disabilities occurred in San Leandro alone.
“Pedestrian safety starts with an important reminder that those on foot and those behind the wheel share an equal responsibility when it comes to looking out for one another,” said Rhonda Craft, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “Our goal is to encourage safe behaviors throughout the entire year, but California Pedestrian Safety Month gives us a timely opportunity to really drive the message home.”
In partnership with the OTS safety campaign Pedestrians Don’t Have Armor, San Leandro highlights the importance of pedestrian safety awareness, whether one is on foot or behind the wheel. The campaign’s theme features characters who represent everyday pedestrians, but clad in body armor made from car parts, which reminds everyone that in real life, pedestrians don’t have armor and always lose when hit by a vehicle. Increasing awareness and enforcement at trouble spots works toward eliminating pedestrian-related injuries and fatalities.
Both drivers and walkers are cautioned to put down cell phones, since electronic distractions are seen in increasing numbers of pedestrian crashes. Other factors for drivers include unsafe speed and failure to see and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and intersections. For pedestrians, the major dangers are jaywalking and thinking that they can be seen at night, especially while wearing dark clothing. To learn about the dangers of being a pedestrian, who is at risk and for safety tips, visit the OTS website for Pedestrian Safety.
Funding for this pedestrian safety campaign is provided to the City of San Leandro by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For more information about the San Leandro traffic safety programs, contact Reh-Lin N. Chen, Senior Transportation Engineer by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (510) 577-3438.
About San Leandro
One of the most diverse cities in the nation located at the center of the dynamic San Francisco Bay Area, San Leandro is a safe, vibrant community of 89,000 residents with well-maintained neighborhoods, excellent public libraries, twenty-one public parks, quality local schools, and a wide range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The western border of the city consists of over eight miles of pristine shoreline and amenities on San Francisco Bay while a regional park and nature areas fall on the eastern border. San Leandro businesses enjoy multiple advantages including close proximity to the Oakland International Airport and Port of Oakland, two major freeways, two BART stations, and access to a large and well-educated workforce. Through a public-private partnership known as Lit San Leandro (www.LitSanLeandro.com), a fiber optic network encircles San Leandro’s industrial and commercial core offering businesses virtually unlimited internet connectivity.
Visit www.sanleandro.org to learn more about San Leandro. To receive City press releases, meeting agendas or other notifications by email, sign up at www.sanleandro.org/portal.