El Dorado Hills Community Vision Coalition received a $5,000 grant from California Department of Public Health and California Office of Traffic Safety to address the problem of pedestrian safety in El Dorado Hills.
Every hour one pedestrian is injured or killed in California. Pedestrians accounted for nearly one out of five deaths in traffic collisions in 2009 — roughly 58 percent more than the national average.
The Pedestrian Safety Campaign dubbed “It’s Up to Us” will use public advertising, social media and community outreach to promote messages that focus on specific actions needed to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries.
In a series of five ads, drivers receive the messages: “Drive Like Our Lives Depend On It” and “It Won’t Kill You to Drive Safely.” Pedestrians will be encouraged to “Stay Alert-Stay Alive” and “Look Good. Then Look Again.” And, a Wizard of Oz inspired theme suggests that “Dorothy Had It Right — There’s No Place Like Home — Make Sure You Get There,” calling on the entire community to slow down, stay attentive and promote personal safety.
DJ Peterson, executive director the El Dorado Hills Community Vision Coalition for “Safe, Healthy and Drug-Free Youth” reflects on local needs and a recent tragedy. “We hope this campaign has a significant impact on people’s lives. If even one life is saved or one tragedy averted due to our efforts, we will have been successful,” said Peterson.
One of the most critical changes urged by the campaign is for drivers to slow down. There is a direct correlation between vehicle speed and the severity of pedestrian incidents. In other words, as speeds increase so do the percentage of fatalities. For example, only about 5 percent of pedestrians are likely to be killed when struck at 20 mph, however nearly 80 percent of pedestrian hit at 40 mph will be killed.
Pedestrians also need to take responsibility to exercise patience, be more aware of their surroundings, eliminate distractions and adhere to traffic laws. They are encouraged to pay attention, refrain from talking or texting on the phone when crossing streets, look up, look around, glance both ways, twice, and never assume motorists see you.
For more information about the El Dorado Hills Community Vision Coalition visit www.edhvisioncoalition.org or call (916) 941-8482.