FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Author: Cpl. Justin Graham
Date: June 16, 2014 2:00 PM

STRIDE Pedestrian Safety Campaign Begins in San Rafael

San Rafael, CA – June 16, 2014.  The City of San Rafael is initiating a pedestrian and motorist safety program called STRIDE.  STRIDE stands for Stopping Traffic Related Injuries and Deaths through Enforcement.

The purpose of STRIDE is to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of pedestrian and motoring public safety at all times.  In San Rafael during 2013, there were 209 people injured in motor vehicle collisions along with 2 fatalities.  41 of those injured were pedestrians and the 2 fatalities were also pedestrians.  So far this year in San Rafael during 2014, there have been 71 people injured in motor vehicle collisions, 12 of which were pedestrians.  There have been 3 fatalities; 2 of which were also pedestrians.

As a result, the San Rafael Police Department has started a traffic enforcement campaign called STRIDESTRIDE will be a dual-pronged campaign that will include education and enforcement.  Police officers will begin an aggressive enforcement program directed towards motorists AND pedestrians.  Special emphasis will be placed on intersections where vehicle and pedestrian traffic is high.  Motorists will be stopped and cited for failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks along with other moving violations.  Pedestrians will also be stopped and cited for crossing against regulatory signals and for jaywalking.

“The City of San Rafael and the San Rafael Police Department take the safety of our residents and visitors very seriously.  STRIDE is an effort to proactively address safety concerns relating to automobiles, pedestrians, and bicycles sharing our roadways.  Our goal is to dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving automobiles and pedestrians/bicycles through enforcement and education” said San Rafael Police Chief Diana Bishop.

The City of San Rafael has taken steps to increase pedestrian safety by changing pedestrian crossing signs to the highly visible lime green color.  Non-signal controlled crosswalks have increased signage and “ladder” style painting to mark the crosswalks at those locations.  Countdown signals that show the pedestrian how much time they have until the signal changes have been added to numerous downtown intersections.

In 2003, the San Rafael Police Department started the PICASO program which had an emphasis on drivers failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.  PICASO stood for Pedestrians In Crosswalks And Safety Operations.  The PICASO program was effective but unfortunately ended due to budget and personnel cutbacks.  The STRIDE Campaign replaces and improves upon the PICASO program by adding the component of pedestrian/bicycle enforcement in addition to motor vehicle enforcement.

Pedestrians are reminded to:

  • Walk on a sidewalk or path whenever they are available. 

  • Be cautious night and day when sharing the road with vehicles. Never assume a driver sees you (he or she could be distracted, under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or just not seeing you). Try to make eye contact with drivers as they approach you to make sure you are seen.

  • Be predictable as a pedestrian. Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections whenever possible. This is where drivers expect pedestrians.

  • Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flash light at night.

  • Obey traffic signal lights and remember you cannot start into a crosswalk with a flashing or steady “DON’T WALK”, red hand, or on a yellow and red signal light.

Drivers are reminded to:

  • Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Very often pedestrians are not walking where they should be.
  • Slowdown and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.

  • Always stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.

  • Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. They are stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the street.

  • Never text or use a cell phone without a hands free device.

Together San Rafael residents and those who visit our community can work together to Stop Traffic Related Injuries and Deaths through Enforcement - STRIDE !

For more information about the STRIDE Campaign please contact Corporal Justin Graham or Margo Rohrbacher at 415.485.3000.  Additional information will be presented during the enforcement campaign.

 

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Last Modified: June 16, 2014 5:10 EDT (by Rohrbacher)










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