Drivers and Pedestrians Urged to Make Sure Road Is Clear
The summer season means more pedestrians will take to Virginia streets and sidewalks as people head out to enjoy local attractions. This is especially true this year, as COVID-19 cases are decreasing, more people are getting vaccinated, and the re-opening of businesses is drawing in crowds. After over a year of spending much more time at home, residents are eager to get out and enjoy summer fun. However, with additional foot traffic comes the heightened danger of pedestrians being struck and possibly killed by a vehicle.
Despite fewer vehicles on the roads due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 114 pedestrians died on Virginia roads in 2020. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hopes to decrease these pedestrian deaths and injuries and promote safe walking and pedestrian awareness across the Commonwealth.
To help spread a message of safety, DMV has launched a campaign urging pedestrians to thoroughly check that the way is clear before crossing the street. The campaign also reminds motorists of their duty to be aware of pedestrians and make sure they’ve crossed safely before proceeding.
The motto of the campaign is “If you don’t know, don’t go.” The campaign will run through August 8. The central focus of the campaign is an animated public service announcement (PSA) along with ads that will run on digital and social media, local radio, and on the sides of buses. The ads will run throughout Virginia, with a focus on pedestrian-friendly cities like Richmond, Portsmouth and Roanoke.
“The goal of this campaign is to increase safety for both pedestrians and drivers and save lives on our roadways through increased awareness,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “We all share the responsibility of making sure that we’re driving and walking safely. If you don’t know, don’t go.”
DMV offers the following tips for pedestrians and drivers:
- Pedestrians should look both ways and make sure the way is really clear before crossing.
- Pedestrians should cross only at designated crosswalks or at corners, never in the middle of the street.
- Pedestrians should not wear earbuds when walking or jogging. If you must listen to music, wear only one earbud.
- Drivers should keep an eye out for pedestrians; always make sure an intersection is clear before proceeding.
- Virginia law requires drivers to stop at crosswalks and yield to pedestrians who are trying to cross.
- Drivers should remember that pedestrians may not always cross at crosswalks. Reduce speeds and expect the unexpected!
For more information about pedestrian safety, visit tzdva.org.