A driver strikes a pedestrian once every 5 hours. Since September 2001 Pennsylvania has seen a 25% drop in crashes state wide, but in the city of Philadelphia the numbers have spiked.
“In 2013 there were 1,800 driver pedestrian crashes resulting in 37 deaths. Just last year it was noted there were 38 fatalities,” says Jessica Jones, a Street Smarts Health Educator.
Thanks to a grant from the National Highway Safety Council the Mayor’s Office of Transportation was able to launch a new city wide media campaign along with PennDot and Street Smarts…focused on reducing these numbers.
“It’s Road Safety, Not Rocket Science” is aimed at drivers and pedestrians ages 18-35. Studies have shown this age demographic to be the most susceptible to pedestrian-related crashes.
Project manager Ema Yamamoto says, “This isn’t “rocket science” so to speak. We all know to yield to pedestrians when driving, we all know to look both ways before we cross the street.”
The #NotRocketScience campaign was launched Thursday April 9th on Temple University’s Main Campus. This seemed to be the perfect place to kick off, considering college students make up the vast majority of the campaign’s main demographic.
Temple senior Gabby Fischetti doesn’t think too much of having to cross Broad several times a day. “It’s not that bad, but at rush hour it can be dangerous.”
The Philadelphia Police Department is working closely with the Mayor’s office and Temple.
Captain Robert Glenn of the 22nd District says his main focus always is to keep people safe. Glenn has tips pedestrians and drivers must observe so that everyone can share the road safely,
“Pedestrians, first you must be familiar with your surroundings. You have to pay attention to crossing the street, it’s more important then texting. And for vehicles, we have to pay attention to pedestrians because you are much bigger then someone walking.”
Captain Glenn and his officers were at busy intersections during the launch, handing out warnings to unsafe drivers and pedestrians.
“Right now it’s just a warning, we feel that is the way to go for now,” said Captain Glenn.
You don’t have to look far to see the campaign, considering it is plastered on all Septa transit throughout the city of Philadelphia.
For more information check out ItsRoadSafety.com