With the coming of October, fall is now in full swing. The weather is cooler. Leaves are falling. Halloween is close. Not to mention, a particular “spice” that becomes an annual tradition/obsession.
The temperature slightly dropping will not deter most people from their daily walks. While many enjoy the convenience and safety of walking paths, some pedestrians do not have that luxury, being forced to share city streets and roads with motor vehicles.
A Month to Highlight Awareness to the Dangers Pedestrians Face
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched the first-ever Pedestrian Safety Month. This and subsequent Octobers will strive to bring attention to the vital safety measures that can protect walkers.
Planning was in place in the early part of the summer with a summit on pedestrian safety. Advocates and stakeholders came together in multiple events that emphasized growing fatalities and improving access for walkers away from higher traffic areas.
According to the U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, her department is committed to teaming with state and local authorities to ensure the safety of pedestrians while reducing injuries and deaths. Walkers, in particular, are considered the most vulnerable road users, and their numbers are growing during a time in history when “fresh air” is at a premium.
NHTSA will take each month to focus on dangerous driving behaviors that place walkers in potential peril. The department is also providing states and local areas data visualization tools, safety tips, and social media graphics and messaging.
While one month highlights safety for those who enjoy walking, motor vehicle operators should take a year-round approach to prioritize the health and well-being of pedestrians.