SPD calls for pedestrian safety as collision deaths rise
By Antonio R. Harvey | OBSERVER Editor
As pedestrian deaths increase, the Sacramento Police Department (SPD) continues to support efforts to improve pedestrian safety and help reduce crashes and injuries.
Data from the past two years shows that “pedestrians were at fault more than 75% of the time” in traffic incidents, said the sergeant. Ken Collier of the SPD Law Enforcement Team.
“The Sacramento Police Department is committed to ensuring safe roads in our city for vehicles and pedestrians,” Collier said. “If you are walking, watch out for vehicular traffic and we ask drivers to be aware of pedestrians. We should all look out for each other. “
The SPD said it continued to see an increase in fatal road collisions involving pedestrians. The trend started in 2019, when 13 pedestrians died in crashes.
The number rose to 15 in 2020 and continues to increase this year with 16 fatal collisions involving pedestrians to date.
Here are some steps drivers and pedestrians can take to reduce the risk of a collision.
- Be predictable. Use crosswalks.
- Watch out for approaching vehicles and use caution.
- Do not walk or run in the path of a vehicle. No vehicle can stop instantly. At 30 mph, a driver needs at least 90 feet to stop.
- To be visible. Make it easy for drivers to see you – wear bright colors, reflective materials, and a flashlight, especially at dawn, dusk, or night.
- Use extra care when crossing streets or entering crosswalks at night when it is harder to see, or when crossing busier streets with more lanes and higher speed limits.
- Obey the speed limit and slow down at intersections. Be prepared to stop for pedestrians at marked and unmarked crosswalks.
- Avoid blocking crosswalks while waiting to turn right.
- Never drive impaired.
- Use hands-free devices and never drive distracted.
Funding for the Traffic Enforcement Team (TET) is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These grants help fund sobriety checkpoints and campaigns against distracted driving.
The main task of the TET is the enforcement of traffic laws in order to reduce road collisions, resulting injuries, and to facilitate the safe and rapid movement of vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
TET is focusing its efforts in areas with the highest collision rates in Sacramento. The unit operates primarily by motorcycles and is most visible during peak hours, Monday through Friday, when traffic is at its highest volume.