The Texas Department of Transportation El Paso District is partnering with the El Paso Police Department and the El Paso Electric Company for a pedestrian safety campaign launching ahead of Halloween and the end of daylight saving time.
“We have had 24 pedestrian traffic related deaths in the City of El Paso this year, compared to 20 for all of 2017,” said El Paso Police Assistant Chief Victor Zarur. “We believe education and awareness can reduce or eliminate future fatalities. While the driver has been at fault in a few cases, the majority of our pedestrian deaths this year are a result of pedestrians not crossing at appropriate locations.”
Four deaths have occurred on high speed roadways like I-10 and US 54, prompting additional concern.
“One death on our roadways is one too many,” said TxDOT El Paso District Engineer Bob Bielek. “High speed roadways like I-10, US 54 and Loop 375 aren’t places for walking or crossing. Things can change in an instant while we are driving. Everyone always needs to be alert and pay attention, eliminate distractions like cell phones and listening devices and take extra precautions at night.”
With the sun setting earlier and Halloween around the corner, the pedestrian safety campaign includes the distribution of reflective slap bands families will be able to pick up at El Paso Police Department Regional Command Centers.
Pedestrians are encouraged to always use a crosswalk and use sidewalks if available. It is illegal to walk in the road if a sidewalk is nearby. If there isn’t a sidewalk, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road facing traffic, as far away from traffic as possible.
“’Safety comes first’ is a common phrase and a daily practice at El Paso Electric,” said El Paso Electric Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Elaina Ball. “As our core value, it is our priority to ensure the safety of our employees and those we serve, and we are proud to partner with TxDOT in sharing this important message.”
The campaign consists of multiple bilingual video public service announcements and the distribution of thousands of reflective slap bands.
In addition, drivers involved in a crash or who experience their vehicle stalling should remember to get their ride to the side, if possible; turn on their hazard lights, and call for help. If drivers are stalled on a main lane, they should turn on their hazard lights, stay buckled in their vehicle and call 9-1-1.