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TxDOT is using ‘human billboards’ to encourage you to help prevent pedestrian deaths

August 1,2022

See full Fort Worth Star-Telegram article by James Hartley here.

Pedestrians account for one in five traffic fatalities in Texas, with nearly 5,400 traffic crashes involving pedestrians in 2021, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

That’s why TxDOT on Thursday held a “walking human billboards” event in Sundance Square to encourage both drivers and pedestrians to be aware of each other.

People walked the area with sandwich boards, trying to remind people who walk, bike and drive on Texas roads the importance of looking out for each other, according to a news release from TxDOT.

The signs encouraged pedestrians not to jaywalk, use crosswalks and wait for the pedestrian signal to show that it’s safe. They also encouraged drivers to follow traffic laws, such as obeying the speed limit and watching out for pedestrians.

TxDOT said law enforcement reports on crashes with pedestrians showed that the leading factors involved those on foot failing to yield the right-of-way to vehicles, drivers not paying attention, drivers failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians, failure to control speed and being under the influence of alcohol for either drivers or pedestrians, in that order.

To prevent pedestrian-involved accidents, drivers should stop for people using crosswalks, yield the right of way to pedestrians when turning, practice caution when passing stopped vehicles, put their phones away and obey speed limits.

Pedestrians, for their part, can look both ways before crossing the street, use crosswalks, follow traffic and crosswalk signs, keep their eyes and ears focused on the road, wear reflective material and use a flashlight at night and make eye contact with drivers before entering the roadway.