October is National Pedestrian Safety Month, and The Goleta Police Department will raise awareness about the safety of people walking throughout the month, emphasizing that “safe drivers, safe speeds, and safe vehicles save lives.”
“Whether in a parking lot, crosswalk, or sidewalk, we are all pedestrians at one point,” Goleta Police Department Sergeant Noel Rivas said. “We ask drivers to please slow down and be extra careful around people walking. Put yourself in their shoes and drive how you would want someone to drive when you are walking.”
The safety of people outside of vehicles is a significant traffic safety concern, with at least two pedestrians or bicyclists killed on California roads every day. Between 2010 and 2019 in California, pedestrian deaths increased by more than 40 percent, and bicyclist deaths went up by more than 60 percent. In 2020, 6,516 pedestrians were killed in the United States – an average of 18 pedestrians a day, or one pedestrian is killed every 81 minutes. Speeding, poor lighting, mid-block crossing, and impairment are the main factors in pedestrians being struck by vehicles.
The Goleta Police Department offers the following safe driving and walking tips:
- Do not speed and slow down at intersections. Be prepared to stop for pedestrians at marked and unmarked crosswalks.
- Avoid blocking crosswalks while waiting to make a right-hand turn.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Use signalized crosswalks where drivers expect foot traffic.
- Watch for approaching vehicles and be careful crossing the street, especially busier streets with higher speed limits. At 30 mph, a driver needs at least 90 feet to come to a stop.
- Get in the habit of wearing light colors and reflective material and walking with a flashlight at night, so it is easier for drivers to see you.
The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office provides police services for the City of Goleta. Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.