VIRGINIA — The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is launching an awareness campaign aimed at increasing situational awareness of drivers and pedestrians alike.
In a press release put out Monday, July 19, the DMV noted that despite fewer cars being on the road due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were still 114 pedestrian fatalities statewide during 2020. According to that year’s Virginia Traffic Crash Facts report, 91 of the those deaths happened on urban roadways and in 48 instances the pedestrian had been drinking.
In an effort to decrease pedestrian-related accidents, the DMV has launched a digital and social media campaign urging pedestrians to thoroughly check that the road is clear of traffic before crossing.
The public service announcements, which will run through August 8, stress the motto “If you don’t know, don’t go.” The campaign will also remind people behind the wheel of their responsibility of being aware of pedestrians and making sure they cross the street safely before continuing to drive.
“The goal of this campaign is to increase safety for both pedestrians and drivers and save lives on our roadways through increased awareness,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. “We all share the responsibility of making sure that we’re driving and walking safely. If you don’t know, don’t go.”
DMV offers the following tips for pedestrians and drivers:
- Pedestrians should look both ways and make sure the way is really clear before crossing.
- Pedestrians should cross only at designated crosswalks or at corners, never in the middle of the street.
- Pedestrians should not wear earbuds when walking or jogging. If you must listen to music, wear only one earbud.
- Drivers should keep an eye out for pedestrians; always make sure an intersection is clear before proceeding.
- Virginia law requires drivers to stop at crosswalks and yield to pedestrians who are trying to cross.
- Drivers should remember that pedestrians may not always cross at crosswalks. Reduce speeds and expect the unexpected!