More Pedestrian Emphasis Patrols Courtesy of Stickman Knows, Spokane Valley Police, Spokane County Sheriff
For more information, contact Kim Papich, SRHD Public Information Officer, 509-324-1539
SPOKANE and Spokane Valley, Wash. – March 15, 2012 – With the welcome arrival of spring also comes an exodus of Spokane residents eager to come out of hibernation and walk area streets again. It is perfect timing for another round of pedestrian emphasis patrols to alert those motorists and pedestrians whose actions put pedestrians at risk.
Spokane Regional Health District is again sponsoring the patrols, this time in partnership with the Spokane Valley Police, who contract their public safety services, including traffic patrol, with the Spokane County Sheriff’s office. The first patrol will be Fri., March 16, 2012, along the Sullivan corridor (Interstate 90 to 16th Avenue). Five more patrols will follow, through the end of April, along the same corridor—all part of the health district’s comprehensive pedestrian, bicyclist and motorist safety campaign, called Stickman Knows.
Emphasis patrols are a proven way to reduce motorist/pedestrian collisions. During the patrol, a plainclothes officer will act as a pedestrian decoy and walk within crosswalks along the Sullivan corridor. Additional officers will be watching and waiting nearby to cite motorists that fail to yield to the pedestrian, a $124 fine. They will also provide education to these drivers via Stickman Knows education materials.
Officers will also be watching for pedestrians that fail to cross legally and cite them as well, a $56 fine, and provide them education.
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 City of Spokane Valley contributed 44 pedestrian collisions, including one fatality, to the total number. Twenty-five percent of those occurred along Sullivan Avenue.
Research resulting from the Stickman Knows campaign shows that in Spokane County, when a pedestrian is at fault for a collision with a motorist, the main reasons are failure to use a crosswalk and failure to grant right of way to the vehicle. When a motorist collides with a pedestrian, the main reason is failure to yield to the right of way to the pedestrian.
The best ways for pedestrians to stay safe:
- Cross the street at marked crosswalks and intersections.
- Before crossing, look left, right, then left again.
- Begin crossing the street on "Walk" signal.
- Wear reflective or bright clothing after dark and in bad weather.
- Watch out for trucks and buses backing out of parking spaces and driveways.
- Excessive alcohol consumption can impair the motor skills and judgment of pedestrians just as it does for drivers. Don't take the risk.
- Very small children should not cross street by themselves. Make sure your children are aware of pedestrian safety tips and laws.
The best ways for motorists to help keep pedestrians safe:
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, whether they are marked or unmarked.
- Slow down and obey the posted speed limit.
- Yield to pedestrians when turning.
- Be careful when passing stopped vehicles.
Year-round safety tips for all users of the road are available at stickmanknows.org.
Media are welcome to attend these emphasis patrols, please contact Deputy Craig Chamberlin at (509) 499-9890, or email at CChamberlin@SpokaneSheriff.org. Representatives will be available for interviews.
More information can also be found at www.srhd.org. SRHD’s website offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.