Pedestrian Emphasis Patrols, Winter Safety Tips Courtesy of Stickman Knows

Pedestrian Emphasis Patrols, Winter Safety Tips Courtesy of Stickman Knows

Nov 17, 2011

SPOKANE, Wash. – Nov 17, 2011 – When it comes to pedestrian and motorist collisions involving adults in Spokane County, they happen most often between October and February. That is why it is so important that pedestrians and motorists not underestimate the dangers of snow and ice. 

Winter safety messages are just one part in the next phase of Stickman Knows, Spokane Regional Health District’s comprehensive pedestrian, bicyclist and motorist safety campaign. Tomorrow, Nov 18, 2011, from 1:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., SRHD will sponsor a pedestrian crosswalk emphasis patrol along Highway 2 in partnership with the Airway Heights Police Department. 

The emphasis will increase awareness to the fact that when a Spokane motorist is at fault for a collision with a pedestrian, the main reason is failure to yield to the right of way of the pedestrian. It is also a $124 fine. When a pedestrian is at fault, the primary reason is failure to use a crosswalk. 

On average, 20 pedestrians and bicyclists are hit in Spokane County every month. Of the 997 pedestrian and bicyclist collisions occurring between 2006 and 2009, 3 percent resulted in death, while 11 percent resulted in serious injury. The goal of Stickman Knows is to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities by educating pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists alike about safe practices on Spokane area roadways. 

For drivers, Stickman Knows emphasizes in the winter to:

  • Use winter tires, they make a difference.
  • Keep an ice scraper and snow brush in your car at all times.
  • Give yourself extra time to properly defrost your car before starting your drive.
  • Be careful when turning left and right at intersections where pedestrians are crossing; allow yourself enough time to slow down before entering the intersection—if you have to wait, it’s better than injuring someone.

For pedestrians, Stickman Knows emphasizes in the winter to:

  • Take sidewalks whenever possible.
  • Stay warm while wearing bright or reflective clothing and ensure it does not restrict your vision.
  • Use extra caution when using designated crosswalks to cross roadways—snow and ice cause havoc quickly. Ice can easily hide under a light dusting of snow, just because you don’t see the ice does not mean it is not there.
  • Keep your eyes open when walking on unfamiliar sidewalks or roads, as you may not have knowledge of where potential danger exists.

For year-round safety tips for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, visit

Spokane residents are also responsible for keeping their sidewalks clear of snow and ice. The best way to help keep your sidewalks clear of snow and ice, and in turn help keep pedestrians and motorists safe, is to maintain a berm next to the street when shoveling to prevent snow from plows ending up on the sidewalk. Also, be prepared to clear snow more than once during a snowstorm and shovel to the right side of your driveway when you’re looking at the street (this helps prevent plows from pushing shoveled snow back into your driveway. 

Spokane Regional Transportation Council board chose to fund approximately $200,000 for the Stickman Knows campaign via a Transportation Enhancement grant provided by the Washington Department of Transportation. In addition to emphasis patrols, the campaign is also visible in many parts of Spokane County including at; on TV commercials, billboard and bus advertisements, print ads, and promotional items; and at community events, in schools and neighborhoods—specifically in high collision areas. Additional funds go toward bicycle helmet distribution via Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and Sheriff Oriented Community Policing Effort (SCOPE), and pedestrian and bicycle education in schools. 

More information can also be found at SRHD’s website offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community.