Crackdown eyes pedestrian safety

Published Jun 17, 2017 at 4:00pm

The rest of June will see a crackdown on pedestrian safety and law enforcement from agencies across the state.

This is the second year of Operation See! Be Seen! from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. From now until June 30, they are leading a campaign of local police agencies to patrol busy pedestrian corridors and issue warning notices, tickets and informative tip cards to both motorists and pedestrians found violating the law.

In Oneida County, this campaign will focus on Utica, which was one of 20 “focus communities” identified in the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, officials said. Between 2009 and 2013, there were 239 pedestrian/vehicle accidents in Utica, officials said.

“During the summer months, motorists should anticipate encountering more pedestrians on the road,” said Terri Egan, acting GTSC chair and executive deputy commissioner of the DMV. “Making sure pedestrians are safe is a top priority.”

The Operation is funded by a grand from the GTSC and it seeks to cut pedestrian fatalities by 20 percent by 2021, and pedestrian injuries by 10 percent.

According to officials, more than 25 percent of all motor vehicle-related fatalities are pedestrians. This is caused by inattention and failure to yield the right of way by both pedestrians and drivers, officials stated.

Tips for drivers:

• Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections.

• Do not block crosswalks when stopped at an intersection.

• Obey the rules of the road and traffic control devices.

• Take extra precautions around schools, playgrounds and neighborhoods.

Tips for pedestrians:

• Cross at intersections and marked crosswalks.

• Do not enter the roadway from obscure spots, like from between parked vehicles.

• Use pedestrian push-buttons at the crosswalks and wait for the signal to cross.

• Use sidewalks if available.

• If walking on the side of the road, walk facing traffic so that you can see vehicles coming.

• Where bright colors and reflective clothing after dark and in bad weather.

• Watch for vehicles backing out of parking spaces and exiting driveways.

• Look both ways before crossing the street.