SAN ANTONIO – Pedestrian deaths on Texas roadways continue to rise, and now account for one in five of all traffic fatalities, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Now, the department is launching a new campaign to raise awareness about the issue.
The campaign features public service announcements, social media posts and even walking billboards.
“Whether you’re behind the wheel or on foot, we need to obey the rules of the road and be on the lookout for each other,” said Laura Lopez, a spokesperson for TxDOT’s San Antonio district.
In 2019, the last year from when complete statistics are available, there were 5,975 traffic crashes involving pedestrians in Texas with 669 fatalities.
In the 12-county San Antonio district, there were 754 such crashes with 72 fatalities. And in San Antonio, there were 631 traffic crashes with 57 fatalities.
The campaign is targeting both pedestrians and drivers. TxDOT encourages pedestrians to follow safety rules, such as only crossing the street at crosswalks or other designated crossings.
As for drivers, contributing factors for collisions involving pedestrians include failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians, inattention and failure to control speed.
TxDOT is also investing in pedestrian safety improvements along the roadways it controls, including 120 such projects in the San Antonio district alone.
“And between 2015 and 2020, TxDOT invested $153 million in federal and state funding through the statewide ADA pedestrian program to upgrade sidewalks, curb ramps and striping for pedestrian accessibility, safety and mobility,” Lopez said.
The pedestrian safety campaign is part of TxDOT’s larger efforts to reduce the number of traffic fatalities on state roadways to zero. The date without a traffic fatality in Texas was November 7, 2000.
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