The Long Beach Police Department’s Traffic Section will conduct a pedestrian safety operation on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 in areas with a high volume of pedestrian traffic. Officers will conduct traffic stops on both drivers and pedestrians who violate the Vehicle Code, but instead of a citation, the violators will be given a verbal warning and a handout on pedestrian safety.
“Our goal for this operation is education”, said Traffic Section Lieutenant Kris Klein. “There are many misconceptions regarding pedestrians and right-of-way laws. The information we will provide will help educate both pedestrians and the motoring public”.
Pedestrian fatalities are rising in California as more people use non-motorized means of transportation. Locally, the Long Beach Police Department has investigated 8 fatal collisions involving pedestrians so far this year. In 2013, California experienced 701 pedestrian deaths that year while nationally, 4,735 pedestrians were killed.
A national study revealed that pedestrians and drivers do not obey laws and signals consistently and many often use cell phones, text and listen to music while walking or driving. Only 60 percent of pedestrians said they expected drivers to stop when they were in crosswalks, even though they have the right-of-way. The following safety tips can save lives and stop this tragedy experienced far too often in the City of Long Beach:
- Look out for pedestrians, especially in hard-to-see conditions such as at night or in bad weather.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk where pedestrians are likely to be.
- Stop at the crosswalk stop line to give drivers in other lanes an opportunity to see and yield to the pedestrians too.
- Be cautious when backing up – pedestrians, especially young children, can move across your path. For more child pedestrian safety tips visit www.safercar.gov.
- Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road, cross at crosswalks or intersections, and obey signs and signals.
- Walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible if there is no sidewalk.
- Pay attention to the traffic moving around you. This is not the time to be texting or talking on a cell phone.
- Make eye contact with drivers as they approach. Never assume a driver sees you.
- Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials (or use a flashlight) at night.
- Look left-right-left before crossing a street.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.