BEAUMONT, Texas — Watch out for each other.
That's the goal of a new campaign by the Texas Department of Transportation as pedestrian deaths continue to rise across the state.
Pedestrian deaths now account for 1 in 5 of all traffic fatalities. in 2019 alone, 5,975 traffic crashes involved pedestrians across the Lone Star state resulting in 669 deaths, TxDOT says. That's a 5% increase from 2018.
TxDOT notes that pedestrians are among the most vulnerable road users.
In and around Beaumont, there were 92 traffic crashes involving pedestrians. 18 people died and 23 people had serious injuries, according to TxDOT data provided to 12News.
With Spring approaching, and with more people walking around, TxDOT is launching its "Be Safe. Drive Smart." safety initiative.
Crash reports from law enforcement indicate the two leading causes for pedestrian fatalities include pedestrians failing to legally cross the street and motorists failing to yield the right of way, driving distracted and alcohol.
TxDOT Safety Tips
- When turning, yield the right of way to pedestrians.
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.
- Be cautious when passing stopped buses or other vehicles.
- Pay attention and put your phone away—pedestrians may enter your path suddenly.
- Obey the speed limit and drive to conditions.
- Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks. Look left, right, then left again before crossing.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing. Don’t assume drivers see you.
- Obey all traffic and crosswalks signals.
- Use the sidewalk. If there isn’t one, walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
- When walking, put away electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.
- Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night