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How Did The Chicken Cross The Road? Carefully.

Date Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
Categories:  Kent County New Castle County News Office of Highway Safety Safety and Homeland Security Sussex County

Pedestrian safety campaign emphasis how to cross safely

 Dover –  The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is asking people the age old question of “Why did the chicken cross the road?” But instead of why, they want to know how did the chicken cross the road, and they are hoping people are answering carefully.  There is an increased risk for pedestrian crashes during the summer months when more people are traveling and the resort area population increases.  That’s why OHS has teamed up with DelDOT again to educate and encourage pedestrians to make smart and safe decisions when walking near roadways.

Since January 1st of this year 12 pedestrians have died in traffic crashes in Delaware. That number is higher than at this time last year when there were only 8 pedestrian fatalities.  This is particularly alarming because it is only mid-year, with the fall season yet to come – a time of year when day light hours get shorter and sun glare becomes an issue, bringing an increased risk for more pedestrian and motor vehicle crashes.

The new pedestrian campaign effort in New Castle and Kent Counties will feature a chicken crossing the road that points out how and where to cross safely.  Paid media messaging will include DART bus ads, digital ads, and door hangers for homes along high crash roadways.

OHS will continue the beach-to-beach pedestrian initiative with Ocean City Maryland which features the happy crab image. Paid media messaging includes signage on lifeguard stands, in Tanger Outlets, and on the Jolly Trolley.  OHS will partner with towns to conduct pedestrian safety checks to provide safe walking tips and information.  The first event will take place with South Bethany Beach on Friday July 3rd.

OHS will continue the educational pedestrian safety patrols with Bethany Beach PD, Dewey Beach PD, Fenwick Island PD, New Castle County PD, Newark PD, Rehoboth Beach PD, S. Bethany Beach PD, Wilmington PD, and  DSP Troops 2, 6, & 7.  These 2-officer patrols will occur over weekends scheduled in June, July, August, and September.  The officers will patrol high pedestrian crash locations to identify pedestrians who are at risk of being involved in a crash, such as those not crossing at marked crosswalks or signaled intersections, walking at dusk/night without a reflective item or flashlight, or walking impaired.  The officers will stop the pedestrian to provide education about how to walk safely near traffic, as well as provide them an informational flyer and a reflective string backpack.

Ultimately, highway safety officials and their partners agree that solving the problem will require active participation and buy-in from the motoring public and pedestrians alike.  By following these basic safety tips and pedestrian laws, everyone can learn to Walk Smart.

  • Cross only at crosswalks or intersections with signals or traffic signs. Look left, right, and left again. Only start to cross when it’s clear.Pedestrian Happy Crab Poster
  • Do not risk crossing outside of a crosswalk or intersection just because it’s more convenient, especially on high speed roadways. Cars cannot stop in time for you.
  • Use sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far off the edge of the road as possible.
  • Do not step into a crosswalk if it will create a hazard to motorists. When it is clear to cross, continue to watch for traffic while crossing the street until you have safely reached the other side.
  • Carry a flashlight or other reflective item when walking at night. It’s the law.
  • Teach children not to run into the street after balls or other toys, and don’t allow them to cross alone until you’ve practiced the basics with them.
  • Do not walk under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Impaired walking is like impaired driving; it is illegal and can be deadly.
  • If your vehicle breaks down on an interstate or busy roadway, don’t leave your vehicle.  Instead call #77 or 911 for assistance.  Motorists can also call #77 to report a disabled vehicle they see on the roadways.
  • If you are driving, be on the lookout for pedestrians near the roadway.

For more information on the Walk Smart campaign and to find materials about pedestrian safety tips and laws, please visit http://ohs.delaware.gov/pedestrian.shtml, follow us on Twitter @DEHighwaySafe or on Facebook at ArriveAliveDE.

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