Florida Department of Transportation in the midst of pedestrian awareness campaign

08/13/12 Olivia Kabat
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The Florida Department of Transportation recently launched a new awareness campaign to improve pedestrian safety. The Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow campaign aims to reduce pedestrian and bicycle fatalities in Hillsborough and Miami-Dade Counties.

For the next four weeks, the Florida Department of Transportation is partnering with local law enforcement to raise public awareness about pedestrian safety. Kris Carson, Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson, says nearly a quarter of traffic crashes involve bicyclists and pedestrians.

“Basically we’re trying to do something about our pedestrian safety problem in the Tampa Bay area. We have one pedestrian that dies every five days. Our number is actually double the national rate in terms of pedestrian fatalities. So we’re just trying to get the word out through this education campaign to hopefully save lives.”

According to Carson, they’ll get the safety message out to citizens in a variety of ways.

“We’re getting the word out through the media, through social media. You’ll also see bus advertising and outdoor advertising, things like that. We also have a separate group that goes around and gives different talks to any group that will essentially listen. That’s a big part of our awareness as well, the education to folks. We’ll let them know basic things like how to use a crosswalk, use common sense, cross at crosswalks, and even for motorists of course to make sure that they stop on red before they turn right, things like that.”

Carson said the Florida Department of Transportation believes safety doesn’t happen by accident.

“Just trying to do a pilot campaign to see how well the public reacts to it to see if we can get some of our number down with the pedestrian fatalities and also educate our motorists as well.”

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Wear bright color clothing to save lives!

I would like to add a comment that I would love to see FDOT address. We are in the business of safety and keeping our roads safe for everyone, therefore, that makes us the perfect department to spread the word. It would be a big leap if we could get pedestrians, let alone bicyclist and motorcycle riders to wear light color clothing or better yet, reflective wear. Not a day goes by where I see anyone wearing a white or bright shirt. People are always wearing dark clothing, blue jeans... especially the color black. Early morning, when it is still dark outside or late at nighttime, it is very, very difficult seeing these pedestrians or motorist. I myself have come close to hitting someone on a bicycle crossing the street late at night, wearing dark clothing and no lights whatsoever on their bike. I get so mad I think they want to get hit! Such an easy thing to do, especially when we are talking about saving lives. These people need to understand, when they lose their own life it also effects all of us, including the poor driver who never saw them coming. All because they are wearing dark clothing in the dark. I believe you are the perfect department for spreading the word. Light clothing, extra lights, reflectors and reflective vest/clothing. Regard, Carol Joy