MnDOT Starts Pedestrian Safety Campaign
Crosswalk events held in five cities Sept. 25 stressed using marked crosswalks and other safe behaviors. October is traditionally the deadliest month for pedestrians.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation and several partners has expanded its Share the Road campaign, with is focused on bicyclists and motorcyclists, by adding a statewide pedestrian safety campaign. Crosswalk events held Sept. 25 in in Duluth, Minneapolis, St. Cloud, St. Paul, and Rochester were intended to drive home the safety message, with Share the Road "crossing ambassadors" raising awareness.
October is traditionally the deadliest month for pedestrians, followed by November and December, according to MnDOT. Citing Department of Public Safety data, it reports there have been 23 pedestrian deaths statewide in 2012 thus far, up from 16 at the same time a year ago. Annual pedestrian deaths for the past five years were:
- 2011: 40
- 2010: 36
- 2009: 41
- 2008: 25
- 2007: 33
"The number of pedestrian fatalities remains at about 40 per year, even though total fatalities on Minnesota roads have been steadily decreasing," said Sue Groth, MnDOT's state traffic engineer. "This is an important area to focus on because pedestrians are more vulnerable than motorists who are protected by the vehicle, seat belts, and air bags during a crash."
The campaign aims to increase the percentage of motorists and pedestrians who follow the Minnesota crosswalk law and exhibit safe walking behaviors such as making eye contact with drivers before proceeding into a crosswalk. Motorists always should be prepared to stop for crossing pedestrians at every corner, according to MnDOT.
The launch includes bus advertising, restaurant/bar bathroom advertising, billboards, and radio messages on Minnesota Public Radio and 93X-FM.
Materials, information and campaign resources, including crash facts and safety tips, are available at www.sharetheroadmn.org.