Yesterday Moreno Valley, California police passed out flyers promoting pedestrian safety in Riverside County. According to the Press-Enterprise, a pedestrian is injured or killed in California every hour, and in 2009 pedestrians comprised almost 1 out of 5 deaths from traffic collisions, which is 58% higher than the national average. Moreno Valley hopes to bring awareness to pedestrian safety and try to help lower the injury and death rates with their new campaign.
The public education campaign is called “It’s Up to All of Us” and serves to educate Moreno Valley residents on driving safely and being aware of their surroundings. The message will be spread via community outreach and local access cable ads that offer advice like “Drive Like Our Lives Depend On It,” “It Won’t Kill You to Drive Safely,” “Stay Alert – Stay Alive,” and “Look Good. Then Look Again.”
Other goals of the campaign include:
- Getting drivers to slow down, as there is a correlation between vehicle speed and pedestrian crash severity
- Encouraging people to walk more and feel safe while getting from point A to point B
- Reminding pedestrians not to get distracted by their cell phones (talking or texting) while walking
- Educating pedestrians on being aware of their surroundings and not to assume that drivers are always aware of them
- The age-old safety tip of looking both ways before crossing the street
The California Department of Public Health is responsible for making this campaign possible thanks to a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Hopefully the state will continue to roll out programs like this in an effort to create more awareness of pedestrian safety. Educating residents will help lower injury and death rates and create a healthier, safer environment for Californians.