The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) celebrate National Pedestrian Safety Month each October by strengthening their efforts to improve safety for vulnerable road users.
In their press release, the USDOT reported that in 2020, 6,516 pedestrians were killed in the United States – an average of 18 pedestrians a day. According to data from the New York State Sheriffs’ Association , there have been a total of 70,279 crashes with 23,512 people injured and 203 deaths on Long Island between October 2021 – September 2022. While walking and cycling is a great way for people to stay healthy and it’s an effective way of travel to work, school or for exercise, pedestrian injury and fatality is a real threat to Long Islanders’ safety. The themes and ideas behind this year’s Pedestrian Safety Month campaign are evergreen, and concepts we should implement year-round.
NHTSA's 2023 Pedestrian Safety Month campaign shareable graphics
The 2023 Pedestrian Safety Month campaign, Everyone is a Pedestrian focuses on different themes throughout the month:
Week 1, Safer People: Celebrates the many benefits of walking and how we can encourage more walking by creating a safer system for people who walk or roll.
Week 2, Safer Speeds & Safer Roads: Recognizes the importance of how motorists driving at safer speeds can save lives and highlights the vital role that safer roads play in reducing fatal crashes and injuries.
Week 3, Safer Vehicles: Looks at vehicle solutions – vehicles that provide occupant crash protection, and technology can help prevent crashes from occurring in the first place. Technologies like pedestrian automatic emergency braking can help protect those outside of the vehicle. Vehicle standards can also help reduce the severity of injuries. The front ends of vehicles can be designed to reduce the impact of a crash.
Week 4, Post-Crash Care: Focuses on providing bystander assistance and care to injured pedestrians, which may be critical in treating injuries and saving lives.
The campaign also emphasizes the value of a Safe System Approach, which is based on the concept that everyone, including those who plan, design, build, operate, and use our transportation system, share in the responsibility for road safety. The approach encourages responsible behavior for people who use the road and creates an environment where everyone can reach their destination safely, among other concepts.
Take the Pledge to Walk Safe, Long Island
There are many ways to advocate for pedestrian safety, and it’s essential that all road users know that their voice and knowledge of pedestrian safety can help save lives. Whenever possible, educate yourself and others about safe driving, walking and cyclist practices. Its everyone’s responsibility to practice road safety and help protect our community. Walk Safe Long Island urges everyone to take our pledge to walk, drive, and bike safely. Taking the pledge means:
Learn the laws. Learn the Vehicle and Traffic Laws of New York State as they relate to bicyclists’ and pedestrians' safety.
Follow the laws and share the road. Apply what you've learned by following the laws set forth to safeguard all users of the road, particularly cyclists and pedestrians. Pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike should share the road.
Spread the word. There are many different types of advocacy. By educating those around you on the laws that are in place, you can contribute to keeping our roads safer for all users.
Celebrate Pedestrian Safety Month by taking the Walk Safe Long Island pledge to walk, bike, and drive safely here.