School Emphasis Patrols Courtesy of Stickman Knows, City of Spokane Valley and Spokane Valley Police
For more information, contact SRHD public information officer, Kim Papich (509) 324-1539
SPOKANE and Spokane Valley, Wash. – May 29, 2012 – The end of the school year is fast approaching, perfect timing to remind motorists that more kids will be out walking and biking. Pedestrian emphasis patrols, centered in school areas, serve as a great reminder not only to those motorists whose actions put children and adults at risk, but also to educate those pedestrians and bicyclists that put themselves at risk.
To that end, Spokane Regional Health District is again sponsoring an emphasis patrol, this time in partnership with the City of Spokane Valley and Spokane Valley Police. It will occur Wed., May 30, 2012, focusing on 13 Spokane Valley schools in an area bound north-south by Mission and 32nd avenues and east-west by Sullivan and Pines roads (see map). The all-day emphasis is part of the health district’s comprehensive pedestrian, bicyclist and motorist safety campaign called Stickman Knows.
On average, 20 pedestrians and bicyclists are hit in Spokane County every month. In 2011, there were 90 Spokane Valley pedestrian and bicyclist collisions within the targeted emphasis area.
Emphasis patrols are a proven way to reduce motorist/pedestrian collisions. During the patrol, several Spokane Valley police officers will pair up to conduct roving patrols of the specified school areas and cite motorists who 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 and bicyclists who fail to cross legally and cite them as well, a $56 fine, and provide them education.
Stickman Knows campaign research shows that in Spokane County, when a pedestrian is at fault for a collision, 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 of the pedestrian.
Said deputy Craig Chamberlin, public information officer for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, “It’s a pretty simple piece of advice to drivers who want to avoid a ticket, or worse, injury to an individual: Just pay attention.” Concluded Chamberlin, "And it's important for pedestrians to also understand they may be part of the solution as well, by paying attention to traffic."
Other recommendations for pedestrians to stay safe:
- Make sure your children are aware of pedestrian safety tips and laws. Very small children should not cross the street by themselves.
- Cross the street at marked crosswalks and intersections.
- Before crossing, look left, right and then left again. And don’t text while crossing.
- 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.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption, it can impair the motor skills and judgment of pedestrians just as it does for drivers. Don't take the risk.
Other recommendations 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.
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.
About Stickman Knows
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 stickmanknows.org; 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.