Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Daylight Savings Time Takes Toll On Pedestrians

A reminder to drivers and pedestrians to pay extra attention to pedestrian safety now that it's getting dark earlier. The Washington State Department of Transportation says that, once daylight savings time kicks in, it's difficult for drivers to see walkers and bikers. Of the 67 pedestrian fatalities that occurred between February 1, 2007 and January 30 2008, almost half occurred between October and January, when daylight savings time was in effect.

Here are some safety tips to reduce the risk of being involved in a collision:

Pedestrians
• Wear bright or reflective clothes and carry a flashlight to be seen
• Make eye contact with drivers – know that the driver is aware of your presence
• Walk where it’s safest – use sidewalks or on the edge of the road facing traffic
• Cross the roadway at intersections

Drivers
• Drive the speed limit – survivability rates for pedestrians involved in collisions with vehicles decreases as speeds increase
• Stop for pedestrians. Motorists must stop for pedestrians in unmarked or marked crosswalks (any intersection is considered a crosswalk). It is also illegal to pass another vehicle stopped for a pedestrian at a crosswalk
• Pay attention near schools and recreation areas

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.