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FHWA Highway Safety Programs

Newspaper Article 1: General Pedestrian Safety

Anytown-The latest traffic safety report reveals that last year, 13 Anytown pedestrians were killed and many more were injured in motor vehicle-pedestrian crashes. Per capita, those figures are slightly higher than the national average.

Nationally, it's estimated that 5,000 pedestrians are killed and 85,000 pedestrians are injured each year. During the last decade, more than 63,000 pedestrians died and more than a million others were injured in pedestrian-vehicle crashes. Of the people killed, 60 percent were working adults, 23 percent were seniors aged 65 or older, and 17 percent were children under 21.

Clearly, children and seniors are at highest risk. In Anytown, seven children died and at least 37 were injured while walking last year. Meanwhile, four of our seniors were killed and at least 24 injured as a result of vehicle-pedestrian crashes.

Experts say many of these crashes are due to unsafe behaviors by both pedestrians and drivers. So to address the problem, government officials, law enforcement, educators, local businesses, and parents have teamed up to raise awareness about pedestrian safety. Over the next six (days/weeks/months), members of the Anytown Pedestrian Safety Coalition will be conducting a public education campaign to raise awareness about ways to make walking safer for everyone.

The campaign is targeted to both pedestrians and drivers, and includes information about devices de ddsigned to enhance pedestrian safety; such as important points for use of crosswalks, pedestrian warning signs, pedestrian signal indications, and reflective materials for nighttime visibility.

For pedestrians, a series of public service announcements (PSAs) encourage everyone to cross safely: use crosswalks, cross at the corner, or cross at other designated crossing areas; obey pedestrian signal indications; and wear reflective materials when walking at night.

A series of PSAs urge drivers to look for pedestrians and stop for them. The series highlights a variety of situations, including the need to look for pedestrians in crosswalks and other designated crossings, as well as at all intersections; to remember to look for pedestrians when turning; and to keep in mind that when a car is stopped ahead of you, there may be a pedestrian crossing.

Nighttime visibility is one of the most important pedestrian safety issues covered. National statistics show that almost fifty percent of pedestrian fatalities occur between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and midnight. So the campaign includes PSAs and events to encourage schoolchildren and the public to carry a flashlight and wear reflective materials when walking at night or early morning when it is dark.

Local police say the overall campaign is much needed. "I've seen so many near misses because a pedestrian crossed the street wherever they liked and did not look for turning vehicles," says Officer Jack Delvan. "On the other hand, we've also had a few fatalities and many injuries because drivers are in a hurry, they're turning and they look for cars, but forget to look for pedestrians," Delvan added.

More information about this and other safety issues is available in English and some in Spanish. To volunteer or obtain more information about Anytown's Pedestrian Safety Campaign and other associated events, please call (Campaign Coordinator's name here) at (phone number) or (email address).