AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR / KCIT) – The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has announced the launch of the “Be Safe.” Drive smart. campaign in recognition of National Pedestrian Safety Month, which is October.
The campaign encourages drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to pay attention and protect each other by properly obeying the rules of the road. The motivation for the initiative, according to TxDOT, is an increase in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities in Texas.
The department said that although the number of traffic accidents in Texas declined in 2020, the number of people killed while walking and cycling on state roads has increased significantly. According to TxDOT, 731 people died in crashes involving pedestrians in Texas in 2020, a number 9% more than in 2019. As for crashes involving cyclists, 82 fatalities were reported in 2020, up from 68 deaths reported in 2019.
TxDOT also said that alcohol was a factor in 25% of deaths in reported pedestrian and cycling crashes in 2020. In a press release, the department said these fatal crashes accounted for one in five deaths in Canada. Texas. They said this happens because people often do not obey state laws designed to protect pedestrians and cyclists, and that is why they are launching the public awareness campaign.
“Over 800 people lost their lives last year in pedestrian and bicycle crashes on the roads of Texas. One death is too much, ”said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “Whether you’re driving, walking or cycling, we remind all Texans to be safe and smart, and that starts with obeying the rules of the road. ”
TxDOT has announced that it is reminding Texans of the laws in place to ensure “safe walking, cycling and driving” and asking people to follow them. The department said drivers must take whatever steps are necessary to protect those who walk and cycle as they are more likely to die or be injured in an accident.
“State laws require pedestrians to stop in crosswalks, yield the right of way to pedestrians and cyclists when turning, and pass cyclists at a safe distance and give them clearance. room to ride, ”TxDOT said.
The department said cyclists should also follow specific laws. In addition to obeying all traffic lights, TxDOT recalled that “those who ride a bicycle must use hand signals when turning or stopping, riding with traffic, using cycle lanes or riding as close as possible from the right sidewalk, and when riding at night, make sure their bikes have a white light in the front and a red light or reflector in the back.
Finally, TxDOT said pedestrians should do their part as well. “Pedestrians should cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks, obey all traffic and crosswalk signals and always use sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the street or road, facing oncoming traffic.
The department has informed Texans that they should expect to see recalls on the “Be Safe.” Drive smart. statewide campaign.