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Police to Focus on Pedestrian Safety During Month-Long Campaign
By Lookout Staff
September 7, 2018 -- Santa Monica police will be paying extra attention to behavior that can lead to pedestrian injuries or death this month, police officials announced Friday.
During "Pedestrian Safety Month," local police will join the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and other agencies and pedestrian advocates "to promote public awareness aimed at pedestrian safety," officials said.
The “Pedestrians Don’t Have Armor” campaign comes at a time when the number of pedestrians killed or injured on local, state and national roadways is "rising at alarming rates," police said.
Last year, eight pedestrians were killed in Santa Monica and police investigated another 660 major injury collisions ("Eighth Pedestrian Killed This Year in Santa Monica," November 21, 2017).
In the midst of a string of pedestrian deaths, the City Council ordered faster action on a sweeping re-design of city streets and carved a post for a Safe Streets "Czar" ("Santa Monica City Council Calls for Safe Streets 'Czar,'" May 11, 2017).
In 2016 in California, 867 pedestrians were killed and more than 14,000 injured -- a nearly 33 percent increase from 2012.
During the month, Santa Monica police -- including some working overtime -- will focus on both drivers and pedestrians who violate traffic laws, police said.
Violations by drivers include speeding, making illegal turns, driving distracted, failing to stop for signs and signals or failing to yield to drivers or pedestrians.
"Pedestrians should always use crosswalks or intersections with a stop sign or light, make eye contact with drivers and look before stepping into a crosswalk," police said in a statement.
Drivers should "be alert for pedestrians, use caution when backing up
Both drivers and pedestrians should avoid using cell phones, police said.
"Safety goes both ways, and drivers and pedestrians must work together to exhibit safe behaviors that protect themselves and those around them, reducing injuries and saving lives," police said.
Funding for the local enforcement campaign is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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