“But officer I started out in the crosswalk.”
As part of Pedestrian Safety Month, the Ventura Police Department will have additional officers on patrol throughout September specifically looking for California Vehicle Code violations pertaining to drivers and pedestrians.
These violations include right-of-way at crosswalks, illegal turns, and not properly stopping for signs or signals, and speeding.
“A simple safety step can make a big difference. Look out for one another by slowing down when driving and stopping for pedestrians,” said Ventura Police Traffic Sergeant Mike Brown. “If you’re walking, be mindful of vehicle traffic, be predictable, and do not leave a curb or place of safety carelessly.”
Based on data from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 2020 had the largest ever annual increase, 21 percent, in the rate at which drivers struck and killed pedestrians. In California, pedestrian deaths accounted for 27 percent of all traffic-related deaths in 2019.
The Ventura Police Department offers steps community members can take to reduce the risk of vehicle-pedestrian collisions:
Be predictable and use crosswalks.
Do not walk or run into the path of a vehicle. No vehicle can stop instantly. At 30 m.p.h., a driver needs at least 108 feet to make a complete stop.
Be visible. Make it easy for drivers to see you by wearing light colors and reflective material, and using flashlights for added visibility at dawn, dusk, or night.
Be extra careful crossing streets or entering crosswalks at night when it is harder to see, or when crossing busier streets with higher speed limits.
Always use the sidewalk when available and avoid walking in the street alongside traffic, especially during morning and evening hours.
Do not drive distracted and never drive impaired.
Drive defensively, follow the speed limit, and slow down at intersections.
Avoid blocking crosswalks while waiting to make a right-hand turn.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To learn more about the Office of Traffic Safety grant at ots.ca.gov.