RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) – As coronavirus cases decline, more people are vaccinated and more businesses reopen, Virginians are eager to get out of the house and enjoy the summer season. As a result, more pedestrians are taking to the streets and sidewalks of Virginia as they make their way to the weather and local attractions.
However, the additional foot traffic also means that there is a higher risk of pedestrians being struck and possibly killed by a vehicle.
Even though there were fewer vehicles on the roads due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) says 114 pedestrians died on Commonwealth roads in 2020.
The DMV wants to reduce these pedestrian fatalities and injuries by promoting safe walking and pedestrian awareness across Virginia.
To help spread a summer safety message, the DMV has launched a campaign urging pedestrians to carefully check that the way is clear before crossing the street. Additionally, the campaign reminds motorists to watch out for pedestrians and make sure they have crossed safely before driving.
The motto of the campaign – which will run until August 8 – is “If you don’t know, don’t go.” The campaign will run until August 8.
The central objective of the campaign is a animated public service announcement (PSA), as well as ads that will run on digital and social media, local radio, and on the sides of buses throughout Virginia, especially in pedestrian-friendly towns like Roanoke.
“The goal of this campaign is to increase pedestrian and driver safety and to save lives on our roads through increased awareness,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, Governor’s Representative for Road Safety . “We all share the responsibility of making sure we drive and walk safely. If you don’t know, don’t go.
The DMV offers the following safety tips for pedestrians and drivers:
- Pedestrians should look both ways and make sure the lane is really clear before crossing.
- Pedestrians should only cross designated crosswalks or corners, but never in the middle of the street.
- Pedestrians should not wear headphones when walking or jogging. However, if you must listen to music, wear only one earphone.
- Drivers should keep an eye out for pedestrians and ensure intersections are clear before proceeding.
- Virginia law requires drivers to stop at crosswalks and yield to pedestrians attempting to cross.
- Drivers should remember that pedestrians don’t always cross at crosswalks, so reduce speed and expect the unexpected.
For more information on pedestrian safety, visit tzdva.org.