Safety

Pedestrian Safety: "Fred Estrian" and Team Shed Light on Pedestrian Safety

In 2016, there was a notable 30 percent spike in pedestrian fatalities in the state. To shed light on this sobering statistic, CDOT illuminated two often-used crosswalks in the Denver area on Aug. 29, with 1,000 LED-lit balloons to raise awareness for pedestrian safety.

The goal was to communicate to pedestrians the importance of being visible and always using crosswalks and sidewalks, especially during the evening, as 72 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occur at night. Efforts also served to remind drivers of the importance of always being alert for pedestrians along roadways and intersections. 

CDOT also reinstated its crosswalk champion, "Fred Estrian" to engage with the public and communicate the importance of always using a crosswalk and being visible to drivers at night. Along with the help of his street team, Fred engaged with the public one-on-one and handed out LED-lit balloons to pedestrians to use while crossing the street at Coors Field just as a Rockies game with about 36,000 fans let out. A street team was also in place at Larimer Square to help people safely and visibly cross the street at crosswalks as they headed home for the evening. Overall, the event garnered 2.3 million media impressions.

Both pedestrians and drivers need to be safe while sharing the roads, especially at night. Sam Cole, CDOT's traffic safety and communications manager, has some tips for pedestrians and drivers to ensure everyone remains safe.

"Drivers: Please slow down and always yield to pedestrians. Stay off your cellphones, avoid distractions and of course, never drive impaired. For pedestrians, we want them to know they need to pay attention when crossing the street. Always keep your head up and try to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see that you're crossing the street."

Pedestrian crashes and fatalities are a growing problem in Colorado’s urban areas—84 lives were lost in 2016, compared to 64 in 2015. This spike in pedestrian fatalities far outweighed the surge in overall traffic fatalities, which increased by 12 percent in 2016. This is why CDOT is continuing to educate pedestrians and drivers on the importance of observing pedestrian laws. For more pedestrian safety information and tips, visit https://www.codot.gov/programs/bikeped/information-for-pedestrians.

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