Walking - It’s the oldest form of transportation. For many, traveling on foot or other non-motorized vehicles, is just one of many ways that we stay connected to our communities.
This year, the Kansas Department of Transportation is participating in Pedestrian Safety Month during October. The safety campaign was created by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA).
KDOT wants to remind travelers, even if you are just moving from your vehicle to the grocery store or your home to your vehicle, you are considered a pedestrian.
While there are many actions that pedestrians can take to stay safe, such as looking both ways before crossing the street, paying attention and obeying traffic laws, there are more actions that only the driver can take — such as staying off the phone while behind the wheel, being aware of their surroundings and obeying the posted speed limit.
“Following the speed limit isn’t just the law for drivers — it is a critical component to keeping pedestrians safe,” said Jenny Kramer, KDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator.
Another way that pedestrian safety can be encouraged is through traffic calming, which uses physical design and other countermeasures to improve safety for all road users—motorized and non-motorized (pedestrians, cyclists, assisted mobility, etc.) Providing additional infrastructure to accommodate different types of transportation can calm traffic by allowing motorists to drive at desired speeds while also allowing safe spaces for other non-motorized users.
Areas where more people are likely to be walking (e.g. schools, parks, grocery stores, shopping centers, etc.) can include traffic calming features such as reducing the number and widths of travel lanes, adding bike lanes, and adding sidewalks and high-visibility crosswalks, see the example below.
If pedestrians and motorists can work together to travel safely, we reduce the number of pedestrians injured or killed. Because at the end of the day —the next pedestrian’s life that is saved could be your own.