The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has designated October as the first-ever national Pedestrian Safety Month. The agency is making pedestrian safety the focus of October as part of its continuing efforts to improve safety for vulnerable road users.
“With this designation of October as Pedestrian Safety Month, the Department is affirming its commitment to working closely with our state and local partners to make our roads safer for pedestrians,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
“At some point in the day, we are all pedestrians – especially right now, when everyone wants to get outside for some fresh air,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens. “Everyone has a role to play in ensuring pedestrian safety. We must keep working to reduce pedestrian deaths from traffic crashes and this first-ever Pedestrian Safety Month will help save lives in communities across the country.”
“At FHWA, we partner with states and local communities to implement innovations in pedestrian safety by promoting proven safety countermeasures,” said Federal Highway Administrator Nicole R. Nason. “Collaboration will be key as we all work toward the shared goal of reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways. We must work together to make our roads safer for our most vulnerable road users – pedestrians.”
Each week of the month, NHTSA will highlight dangerous driving behaviors that put pedestrians at risk, as well as ways to improve pedestrian safety. NHTSA has developed resources to help states and local communities identify, address, and improve pedestrian safety, including a data visualization tool, safety tips, and social media graphics and messaging.
NHTSA and the Federal Highway Administration also held a live webinar recently to discuss Pedestrian Safety Month, along with representatives from the Governors Highway Safety Association, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Michigan State Police, and America Walks.
Earlier this summer, the Department brought together safety advocates and stakeholders for the USDOT Summit on Pedestrian Safety, a multi-event series focused on reducing pedestrian fatalities and improving pedestrian access.
NHTSA will soon be conducting its third National Survey on Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behaviors, which will help inform and guide future policy and countermeasure decisions. This survey studies how much people are walking and biking, and their understanding of and opinions on traffic laws, infrastructure, and safety.