As the days grow shorter traffic officials encourage pedestrian safety
Sunlight hours are growing shorter in Kentucky and as such, officials are warning people to pay more attention to pedestrians while driving. According to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), as of 2020, Kentucky was ranked 19th in the country for pedestrian fatalities.
Allen Blair, Information Officer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, said both motorists and pedestrians need to be aware when on the road.
“You know for anyone, whether it’s pedestrian safety month or any time of the year, you know, avoid distractions, obey the speed limits, you know, speed and distracted driving are two of the highest causes of crashes, and we want people to be safe when they use our roads,” said Blair.
Officials said motorists can help prevent accidents by always driving sober, buckling up, watching for school crossings, and keeping vehicle windows cleared.
Pedestrians are encouraged to wear reflective clothing, use crosswalks, and know that just because they can see a vehicle doesn’t mean that the driver can see them.
Blair said October is Pedestrian Safety Month due to the early setting sun.
“We find that most crash-related fatalities, especially with pedestrians, occur at night. So, we want to kind of key in on that and let people know ‘Hey this is the time of year where we start our drive, whether our morning or evening commute, are liable to be in dusky or dark conditions, and that is risky for pedestrians that are out there sharing the road with our motorists, “said Blair. “So, we’re asking them to, you know, slow down, pay attention, stay alert.”
The KYTC has taken steps to help ensure the information to make roadways safer for all is readily available.
“We have developed a “Complete Streets, Roads and Highways Manual” in the Transportation Cabinet. That gives our engineers guidance and recommendations, and resources, to, you know, all of our transportation organizations and agencies to prioritize safety for all road users, whether that’s motorists and drivers, but also motorcyclists, transit riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians,” said Blair.
Implementation of these suggestions may include things such as bike lanes, additional sidewalks and crosswalks, and accessible pedestrian signals.
Additional information on pedestrian safety as well as information on the “complete streets” manual is available at walksafeky.com.