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City of West Plains participating in statewide Pedestrian Awareness Week

Across the state of Missouri, cities and law enforcement agencies are educating the public on pedestrian safety. The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety has announced a campaign running through June 12 focusing on just that. The campaign is geared toward pedestrians and drivers, educating both about being alert and what to watch out for to ensure everyone is safe.

Preliminary data from 2020 indicates 128 pedestrians were killed and 316 others were seriously injured in Missouri traffic crashes. The top contributing factors for pedestrians involved in these crashes were failure to yield, alcohol or drug impairment, and distraction or inattention.

Locally, the West Plains Police Department wants the community to be aware of an increase in foot traffic.

“With school being out of session for the summer, I’d like to remind drivers that more pedestrians will be in and around neighborhoods and parks,” said West Plains Police Chief Stephen Monticelli. “I would also urge parents to take a few moments and discuss the following tips with their kids to make certain they understand them.”

  • Drivers and pedestrians need to make eye contact with each other. Don’t assume that the other one has seen you.
  • If your vehicle is stranded, remain in the vehicle with your seat belt on. If you must exit a stalled vehicle alongside the roadway, do so on the opposite side of traffic and do not attempt to walk across the oncoming traffic.
  • Only cross at an intersection or crosswalk. Stepping out from between parked cars or other obstacles by the road can keep a driver from being able to see you and stop in time.
  • Look left, right and then left again before crossing an intersection or crosswalk. You always want to double check the lane that you will be entering first.
  • Be aware of drivers even when you are in a designated crosswalk.  Drivers can look and use their mirrors, but there are always blind spots.
  • Avoid walking while wearing headphones. You will not be able to hear if a car is coming.
  • Always wear brightly colored clothing for visibility when exercising alongside a roadway.
  • Always walk against the flow of traffic rather than with the traffic.
  • Always be cautious when exiting parking lots and be on the lookout for pedestrians.
  • Always put your cellphone down and do not look at it when driving or walking. Stay alert to all the challenges of the road.

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