SMPD advocates for pedestrian safety
SANTA MARIA — The Santa Maria Police Department wants residents to incorporate Pedestrian Safety Month into their September observances.
The Governors Highway Safety Association saw the biggest annual increase ever in the number of pedestrians killed by vehicle collisions in 2020. Pedestrian deaths alloted for 27% of California’s traffic-related deaths in 2019.
SMPD will have extra patrol officers throughout September. The officers will look for violations like right-of-way at crosswalks, illegal turns, not stopping for signs or signals and speeding.
The department offers the following tips to pedestrians to avoid collisions: Stay alert and off cell phones; be predictable, use crosswalks; look for approaching vehicles.
Pedestrians should not walk into a vehicle’s path. If a car is moving at 30 mph, the driver needs around 90 feet to stop.
Pedestrians should dress to stand out, especially at night. Reflective material clothing and flashlights are handy.
At night, take extra precaution when crossing streets.
SMPD offers the following advice to drivers:
Follow the speed limit and reduce speed at intersections. Be prepared to stop before marked and unmarked crosswalks.
Avoid blocking the crosswalk while waiting for a right-hand turn.
Don’t drive impaired, and put down cell phones.
— Annelise Hanshaw