BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Bakersfield Police Department plans to step up pedestrian safety enforcement operations this weekend, the department said Thursday.
Traffic patrols will focus efforts in trouble spots while special targeted patrols will also crack down on drivers and pedestrians who violate traffic laws meant to protect pedestrians.
The department mapped out locations over the past three years where pedestrian-involved crashes have occurred along with the violations that led to those crashes.
Pedestrian fatalities are rising in California, the department said.
The Bakersfield Police Department has investigated 49 fatal and injury collisions involving pedestrians during the past three years.
In 2016, California witnessed 867 pedestrian deaths accounting for nearly 24 percent of all roadway fatalities, much higher than the national average of 15 percent.
BPD released the following safety tips: Drivers can:
- Look out for pedestrians, especially in hard-to-see conditions such as at night or in bad weather.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk where pedestrians are likely to be.
- Stop at the crosswalk stop line to give drivers in other lanes an opportunity to see and yield to the pedestrians too.
- Be cautious when backing up - pedestrians, especially young children, can move across your path.
- Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road, cross at crosswalks or intersections, and obey signs and signals.
- Walk facing traffic, and if there is no sidewalk, walk as far from traffic as possible.
- Pay attention to the traffic moving around you. This is not the time to be texting or talking on a cell phone.
- Make eye contact with drivers as they approach. Never assume a driver sees you.
- Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials (or use a flashlight) at night.
- Look left-right-left before crossing a street.