Adjustments That Could Better Protect Pedestrians

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Pedestrian safety is an important topic in California with more and more people walking in places like Los Angeles that used to be dominated by the automobile.  A new report out of New York finds a transportation engineer exploring some of the ways that fatalities and injuries could be reduced there, but some of them may be applicable on the West Coast too.

Lowering the speed limit could serve to reduce the threat of collisions in what would be considered high-risk areas.  For instance, school zones may benefit from lowered speed limits that are related to drivers by appropriate signage.  If a driver has ample time to be told that a reduction is coming up, and he or she is made aware of their speed through radars positioned along the road, they’ll be more inclined to watch their surroundings and take their foot off the gas.

Another thing that could help is a concerted effort to crack down on persons who drive while intoxicated.  Drunk drivers are less likely to spot or react in time if a pedestrian is in their path.  Awareness could also be increased as to the danger posed by public intoxication that leads a pedestrian into the road an an inopportune moment.

Other times, infrastructure can help reduce crashes.  Signals can be extended to allow pedestrians ample time to cross while visibility can also be improved by proper lighting along relevant pathways.