Vancouver police encourage pedestrians and motorists to see and be seen
VANCOUVER — On Wed., March 20, Vancouver area law enforcement agencies will hold a pedestrian safety enforcement. Officers, Deputies, and Troopers will be patrolling and issuing citations to motorists who are violating pedestrian safety laws. Motorists should be aware and drive with care. Tickets will be issued for speeding, distracted driving, and other driving violations that put pedestrians at risk.
The data-driven enforcements are in response to high pedestrian deaths and serious injuries in Clark County. In 2018, there were 26 fatal and suspected injury crashes involving a pedestrian – including 8 fatalities. This is an increase from 16 fatal and suspected injury crashes involving a pedestrian in 2017, which included 7 fatalities. The enforcement will be focused in areas that are the most problematic based on pedestrian death and serious injury data.
Miriam Norman, a pedestrian crash survivor and traffic safety prosecutor for the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, encourages Clark County residents to see and be seen. “Traffic safety is one of the few areas where we can prevent future harm and future crime. It comes down to choosing to make smart decisions when driving and walking. We can protect people’s futures,” she says.
“We need to focus on driving. Putting distractions down could save lives – including your own,” Norman says. She also notes the steps pedestrians can take to make our roads safer. “A single moment is all it takes to alter your entire destiny. As a pedestrian, make sure you are protecting yourself – make yourself seen,” she says.
Through monthly enforcement, outreach, and paid media, a coalition of organizations is working toward decreasing pedestrian deaths and serious injuries in the region. This enforcement is being held in partnership with the Clark and Skamania Target Zero Task Force, the Battle Ground Police Department, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the La Center Police Department, the Ridgefield Police Department, the Vancouver Police Department, the Washougal Police Department, and the Washington State Patrol. They will have dispatch support from CRESA. Funding comes from a grant awarded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.
Motorists should do their part to keep pedestrians safe by slowing down, reducing distractions, and always yielding. Pedestrians should avoid wearing dark clothing at night, always make eye contact with drivers before crossing, and cross only at marked crosswalks. These simple steps have the power to save lives.
“Our enforcement efforts, as well as the media and outreach efforts of the Clark and Skamania Target Zero Task Force, have a clear goal,” says Sergeant Alex Schoening of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. “We want to improve traffic safety norms by discussing safe driving practices. In the end, Clark County will have a healthy culture of safe behaviors.”
Target Zero is a data-driven, strategic plan developed by several Washington State organizations and approved by Governor Jay Inslee. Organizations across the state are united to work toward the goal of zero traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington State by the year 2030. Read more at http://targetzero.com/.
Information provided by Clark Co. Traffic Safety Task Force.