TxDOT campaign aims to stop pedestrian deaths

E-T staff report
Image from the Texas Department of Transportation's new campaign aimed at stopping pedestrian deaths.

As spring has arrived, more and more Texans will take to the streets, TxDOT’s new campaign has an important message for both drivers and pedestrians: Watch out for each other. 

State officials warn that pedestrian deaths are continuing to rise in Texas and now account for 1 in 5 of all traffic fatalities. In 2019 alone, 5,975 traffic crashes involving pedestrians occurred in Texas, resulting in 669 deaths, a 5% increase in fatalities over the previous year. Another 1,317 people were seriously injured.

To reach its goal of zero deaths on Texas roadways, TxDOT needs all drivers and pedestrians to obey the rules of the road, stay alert and take responsibility for looking out for pedestrians, and for pedestrians to follow safety tips.

​Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable road users because they aren’t equipped with protective equipment, such as airbags, seat belts and bumpers. Crash reports from law enforcement indicate the two leading causes for pedestrian fatalities are: 1) pedestrians failing to follow traffic safety laws and being struck when crossing streets and roadways, and 2) motorists failing to yield the right of way, driving distracted or driving too fast. Alcohol also is a factor in pedestrian-related crashes, deaths and injuries. 

With all of this in mind, TxDOT is offering these safety tips to prevent deadly encounters: 

For drivers . . .

• When turning, yield the right of way to pedestrians.

• Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.

• Be cautious when passing stopped buses or other vehicles.

• Pay attention and put your phone away—pedestrians may enter your path suddenly.

• Obey the speed limit and drive to conditions.

For pedestrians . . .

• Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks. Look left, right, then left again before crossing.

• Make eye contact with drivers before crossing. Don’t assume drivers see you.

• Obey all traffic and crosswalks signals.

• Use the sidewalk. If there isn’t one, walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.

• When walking, put away electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.

• Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night