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Mollie Dougherty 314.453.1807

June 07, 2018 12:36 PM
Don't Miss What Matters:
Statewide Pedestrian Awareness Campaign Kicks off June 11

ST. LOUIS, MO – In 2017, 98 pedestrians were killed in Missouri and 264 were seriously injured. Almost half of these fatalities and injuries occurred in the St. Louis District. The top contributing factors involved were failure to yield, alcohol or drug impairment, and distraction/inattention. When using all modes of transportation, safety is a priority – don’t miss what matters.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is announcing a week-long campaign June 11-18, focusing on pedestrian safety. The campaign’s goal is to educate pedestrians and drivers on being alert and what to look out for to ensure everyone is safe.

The City of St. Louis was made a pedestrian focus city by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 2011 due to the high pedestrian fatality rate. Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) staff has undertaken various actions to improve pedestrian safety throughout the region. Some of the recent ones include:

  • On Gravois Avenue, bolder and easier-to-see striping was installed at all signalized intersections as well as new warning systems to alert drivers of upcoming crosswalks.
  • More warning systems will be installed along sections of Route 100 and Route D.
  • Currently, the Natural Bridge Safety Initiative is working on increasing pedestrian safety on the route to decrease the significantly high number of fatalities.

MoDOT’s North St. Louis County area team partnered with the FHWA to conduct a Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) workshop. The workshop focused on innovative ways to implement pedestrian improvements. Recently, an education section was added to the team’s county newsletter to inform area residents on how to use pedestrian safety items. The spring edition featured the HAWK signal, a crossing signal that acts like a traffic light but remains completely dark until activated by a pedestrian, located on Route N at the Albert/Powell intersection in Ferguson.

In St. Charles County, MoDOT and the City of O’Fallon have a joint project to add a shared use path along Route K from Feise Road to Technology Drive.  The project will connect existing, unconnected segments already along the route.

“We want to be sure that citizens are as safe as possible in all modes of transportation,” said MoDOT Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer Nicole Hood. “We encourage all drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians to make safe choices so everyone, no matter the mode of transportation, makes it to their destination safe.”

Keep the following safety tips in mind anytime you are walking or driving on area roadways:

  • Drivers and pedestrians need to make eye contact with each other. Don’t assume that the other one has seen you.
  • If you must exit a stalled vehicle alongside the roadway, do so on the opposite side of traffic and do not attempt to walk across oncoming traffic.
  • Only cross at an intersection or crosswalk – stepping out from between parked cars or other obstacles by the road can keep a driver from being able to see you and stop in time.
  • Look left, right and left again before crossing an intersection or crosswalk – you always want to double check the lane you’ll be entering first.
  • Be aware of drivers even when you are in a designated crosswalk – drivers can look and use their mirrors, but there are always blind spots.
  • Avoid walking while wearing headphones – you won’t be able to hear if a car is coming.
  • Always wear brightly colored clothing for visibility when exercising alongside a roadway.
  • Always walk against the flow of traffic rather than with the traffic.
  • Always be cautious when exiting parking lots and be on the lookout for pedestrians.

For more information, visit savemolives.com or follow Save MO Lives on social media.

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