BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — September is Pedestrian Safety Month and the Bakersfield Police Department will join law enforcement agencies across the state to educate the public on how to be safe when walking or driving.
For the safety of everyone walking or driving, the Bakersfield Police Department will have additional officers on patrol throughout the month of September, specifically looking for violations made by drivers and pedestrians that make roads unsafe. These violations include speeding, illegal turns, failure to yield, not stopping for posted signs or signals, and pedestrians who do not cross in marked crosswalks or designated crossing areas.
The Bakersfield Police Department offers these steps pedestrians and drivers can take to be safe:
- Keep your eyes up and phones down, especially when crossing the street.
- Always use marked crosswalks, preferably at stop signs or signals.
- Make eye contact and nod or wave at drivers. A quick nod or wave is an easy way to let a driver know you see them, and they see you.
- Be extra careful crossing streets or entering crosswalks at night when it is harder to see. Get in the habit of walking with a flashlight or wearing a reflective vest so it is easier for drivers to spot you.
- Slow down on busy streets and at all intersections.
- Avoid distractions such as cell phones, eating, using in-dash touch screens, or turning to talk to passengers.
- Be extra careful approaching crosswalks. Be prepared to stop for pedestrians. Stop prior to the crosswalk.
- Try to avoid blocking the crosswalk when making a right-hand turn.
- Have your headlights on and slow down at night when pedestrians are difficult to see.
Over the last ten years the number of pedestrians killed or injured on California roads has increased dramatically, accounting for nearly 25% of all roadway deaths. In 2018, 6,227 pedestrians lost their lives nationally in motor vehicle collisions. A report released earlier this year by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) advised pedestrian deaths in 2019 across the United States has reached its highest point in more than 30 years with over 6,500 deaths.