BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — With September being Pedestrian Safety Month, the Bakersfield Police Department has announced it will be stepping up enforcement of traffic laws.
The department said it will have additional officers on patrol throughout the month looking for drivers who are speeding, making illegal turns, failing to yield to traffic and not stopping for posted signs and signals as well as pedestrians who are walking outside of a crosswalk.
Over the past 10 years, BPD said the number of pedestrians killed or injured on California roads has increased dramatically, accounting for nearly 25 percent of all roadway deaths. In 2018, 6,227 pedestrians lost their lives across the nation in vehicle collisions.
A report released earlier this year by the Governors Highway Safety Association said pedestrian deaths in 2019 across the U.S. has reached its highest point in more than 30 years with over 6,500 deaths.
The Bakersfield Police Department has listed several steps pedestrians and drivers can take to be safe.
- Ditch the distractions. 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.