Safety

CDOT’s Fred Estrian is Back with an Important Message About Pedestrian Safety

March 8, 2017 - Statewide Safety - Fred Estrian is born-again to shine light on pedestrian safety laws   

                                                                                               

STATEWIDE – In 2016, there was a notable 30 percent spike in pedestrian fatalities in the state of Colorado. 84 lives were lost in 2016, compared to the 64 fatalities in 2015. This spike in pedestrian fatalities far outweighed the surge in overall vehicle fatalities, which increased by 12 percent in 2016. In total there were 1,330 pedestrian crashes in 2015, an average of almost 4 pedestrian crashes per day.

To continue to educate pedestrians and drivers on the importance of observing pedestrian laws, the Colorado Department of Transportation is reinstating its most recent campaign featuring Fred Estrian, a play on the word “pedestrian” and the classic walk signal man brought to life. Fred will come back alive this year to remind Coloradans of the importance of pedestrian safety.   

Fred Estrian is everyone’s crosswalk champion and has a passion for pedestrian safety. In 2016, as the new face of CDOT’s pedestrian campaign, he broke free from the confines of the walk signal box and interacted face-to-face with the Coloradans he loves so much. CDOT’s animated shorts and live appearances in downtown Denver highlighted Fred’s escape and some of the major factors that play a role in pedestrian fatalities.

And now he’s back in 2017. This year’s second phase of CDOT’s pedestrian campaign launched this week and will be running through the month of March in the form of targeted online videos, billboards and broadcast radio. The goal is to meet pedestrians and drivers where they spend most of their time – online and in their cars. These quick, digestible and sharable videos will reintroduce Colorado to Fred and his mission, and the billboards and radio ads will remind drivers to be mindful of pedestrians while on the road. The campaign will continue to protect pedestrians by encouraging drivers to slow down and to avoid distractions while in pedestrian zones. And the campaign will also work to inspire pedestrians to always use crosswalks and avoid distractions while crossing streets. 72 percent of 2016 pedestrian fatalities occurred at non-intersections.

“Fred Estrian was a huge success in Colorado communities in 2016 so we made the decision to bring him back in 2017,” states Sam Cole, Traffic Safety Communications Manager with CDOT. “Fred witnessed a lot of pedestrian crashes and hundreds of near misses in 2016. The campaign is here again to remind drivers and pedestrians alike of pedestrian laws and how to avoid crashes.”

To view Fred Estrian campaign materials, including video and radio spots, visit http://bit.ly/CDOTPeds2017. For pedestrian laws and safety tips, visit https://www.codot.gov/programs/bikeped/information-for-pedestrian.

Pedestrian fatalities have been a growing concern in Colorado, particularly at non-intersections as well as in the evening and late night hours. The campaign aims to promote the importance of crosswalks, urging drivers to be alert when approaching a crosswalk and encouraging pedestrians to only use crosswalks when crossing the street.

Pedestrian safety is a yearlong focus, so Fred will be back in the summer with another engaging event in Denver communities.