SAN ANTONIO — Whether you’re planning on participating in a neighborhood parage, a driveway costume fashion show, or socially distanced trick-or-treating, it’s important that everyone keeps an eye out on the road this Halloween evening.
As part of a new public awareness campaign, the Texas Department of Transportation is urging Texans to drive smart, walk smart, and bike smart.
“Sadly, we are seeing too many deaths and injuries among pedestrians and cyclists on Texas streets and highways,” said Laura Lopez, the agency’s public information officer.
In 2019, there were 299 traffic crashes involving bicyclists, resulting in six fatalities in San Antonio and the surrounding area. The statistics for pedestrians were worse: 754 traffic crashes involved pedestrians, resulting in 72 fatalities.
Lopez reiterated, “Whether you’re behind the wheel, on foot, or riding a bike, we need to obey the rules of the road and be on the lookout for each other.”
For pedestrians, this means a few things, Lopez explained.
“Always look left, right, left before crossing the street; make eye contact with drivers; be visible, especially at night; carry a flashlight [at night] and wear reflective clothing.”
For bicyclists, the tips are much the same. “Always wears a helmet,” Lopez continued, “Be visible. [And] like a pedestrian, wear something that is light-reflective.”
Lopez told me that the greatest number of traffic crashes occur in the early evening, while the greatest number of fatalities occur between 9 and 10 p.m. She said that the main causes of crashes between motor vehicles and pedestrians in 2019 were failure to yield, drivers not giving their full attention to the road, and speeding.
“If you’re going to be driving, we always ask drivers to be alert, be aware, be safe, and drive smart.” a reference to the agency’s “Be safe. Drive smart.” campaign.
All of these initiatives, Lopez explained are in an effort to End the Streak of fatalities (November 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roadways).
“Safety is our number one priority and we want to make sure that everybody gets to their destination safely,” Lopez concluded.
So when you’re out tonight, tomorrow, and the day after that, do your part to make the roads a little less scary.
For more information, visit txdot.gov.