The folks at Spokane County want to remind you to ‘look again- it’s that simple.’ The Spokane County Target Zero Task Force received a pedestrian safety grant from Washington Traffic Safety Commission. The goal of this pedestrian safety grant is to reduce pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries in Spokane County through an education and enforcement campaign. Throughout August and September, law enforcement agencies in Spokane County will be increasing pedestrian and driver safety enforcement.
There were eleven pedestrian fatalities in Spokane County in 2009. There were 63 pedestrian fatalities in Washington State in 2008. More than 600 pedestrians have been killed on Washington State streets and roadways in the past eight years according to data released by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.
The most common cause for vehicle/pedestrian collisions, according to the study, were people in the roadway where and when they didn’t belong there. More than 500 of the deaths occurred when the pedestrian was not safely out of the cars’ portion of the roadway.
Spokane County asks that you wear light-colored or reflective clothing when walking at night. Brightly colored clothing can help even in the daytime by helping walkers stand out from the background. Always walk facing traffic so you have time to recognize upcoming danger and get out of the way.
Where pedestrians cross the street can impact their safety. The best place is in a lighted intersection, using a marked crosswalk, with traffic signals to stop oncoming traffic. Several of the recent fatalities in Spokane were from pedestrian crossing busy roadways during the night time hours without using marked crosswalks.
On the other side, drivers can increase pedestrian safety by actively looking for walkers. Drivers must also, by law, yield to pedestrians in any intersection, whether marked with crosswalks or not, if the pedestrian is in their half of the roadway.