September is Pedestrian Safety Month, and while the COVID-19 pandemic is changing how we get around, the measures we can take to keep pedestrians safe are the same. The San Mateo County Office of Education's Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program offers the following tips for pedestrians and drivers:
- Ditch the distractions. Keep your eyes up and phones down, especially when crossing the street.
- Always use marked crosswalks, preferably at stop signs or signals.
- Make eye contact and nod or wave at drivers. A quick nod or wave is an easy way to let a driver know you see them, and they see you.
- Be extra careful crossing streets or entering crosswalks at night when it is harder to see. Get in the habit of walking with a flashlight or wearing a reflective vest so it is easier for drivers to spot you.
- If you need to briefly walk into the street to maintain physical distancing on sidewalks, remember to look both ways for cars.
- Slow down on busy streets and intersections.
- Avoid distractions, which includes cell phones, eating, using in-dash touch screens, or turning to talk to passengers.
- Be extra careful approaching crosswalks. Be prepared to stop for pedestrians. Stop prior to the crosswalk.
- Try to avoid blocking the crosswalk when making a right-hand turn.
- Have your headlights on and slow down at night when pedestrians are harder to see.
During the pandemic, the SRTS program is partnering with schools to encourage students to exercise or safely walk and bike in their neighborhoods while following the Four Pillars. It invites all students to celebrate Pedestrian Safety Month with the One Month Challenge. Complete the Challenge and return it to - Safe Routes to School 101 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City, CA 94065 - for an SRTS activity kit.
The SRTS program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to support this work. Learn more about the SRTS program.