San Rafael, CA – The San Rafael Police Department is working with law enforcement agencies across the state to promote safe behaviors that allow drivers and those on foot to get where they need to go safely.
September is Pedestrian Safety Month, and California continues to see more and more pedestrians getting injured or killed on roads. In 2016, 867 pedestrians were killed and more than 14,000 injured in California alone. A report released earlier this year by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) projected that more than 6,200 pedestrians were killed in the United States last year, the highest number since 1990. Locally, San Rafael Police Department has investigated 1 fatal and 52 injury collisions involving pedestrians during the past year.
The San Rafael Police Department will have additional officers on patrol throughout the month of September, specifically focused on drivers and pedestrians who violate traffic laws that increase the risk of collisions. These violations include speeding, driving or walking distracted and/or impaired, failing to stop for signs and signals, and not yielding to drivers/pedestrians who have the right of way. During an operation on September 10, 2019, the San Rafael Police Department Traffic Unit issued 40 citations for safety violations, three arrests for driving with a suspended license and one arrest for driving under the influence of marijuana.
San Rafael PD offers the following tips to keep everyone safe:
- Look left-right-left before crossing the street. Watch for cars turning and obey all traffic signals.
- Cross the street in marked crosswalks, preferably at stop signs or signals.
- Avoid distractions. Stay off the phone while walking.
- Make eye contact with drivers. Don’t assume drivers can see you.
- Be seen. Wear bright clothing during the day and use a flashlight at night.
- Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the shoulder, facing traffic and as far away from cars as possible.
- Do not walk near traffic after drinking or using drugs that affect judgment and coordination.
- Follow the speed limit. The higher the speed, the longer it takes to stop.
- Never drive distracted or under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Look out for people walking, especially at night and in poorly lit areas.
- Pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks even if they are not at a stop sign or signal. Prepare to stop when a pedestrian enters a crosswalk.
- Avoid blocking the crosswalk when attempting to make a right-hand turn.
- Be careful backing up and leaving parking spaces in shopping centers with heavy foot traffic.
Funding for pedestrian safety enforcement is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Sergeant Raul Aguilar