Police: ‘Pedestrians Don’t Wear Armor’

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Police sent out a message Wednesday reminding drivers that “pedestrians don’t wear armor,” as part of an enforcement campaign.

“The Newport Beach Police Department remains committed to educating drivers and pedestrians about safe roadway habits,” the announcement reads. “The message is simple, but powerful: Regardless of whether someone is on foot or behind the wheel, everyone must do their part to look out for one another because pedestrians are no match for a vehicle.”

The number of pedestrians killed on California roadways continues to rise, according to authorities. In 2016, 867 pedestrians died, a nearly 33 percent increase from 2012. More than 14,000 pedestrians were injured.

“At some point, we are all pedestrians,” said California Office of Traffic Safety Director Rhonda Craft in the prepared statement. “Let’s take a step back from the hustle and bustle in our lives and start looking out for one another, both in the car and outside of it.”

During the month of January, the NBPD will conduct high-visibility enforcement related to vehicle and pedestrian violations.

Authorities also used the message to share some important tips for drivers: Make sure the path is clear before turning, let pedestrians with the right of way safely cross intersections before turning; avoid distractions, look at your surroundings; be careful backing up; and obey posted speed limits.

The message also included a few safety tips for pedestrians: Use crosswalks or intersections only, preferably with stop sign or signal; make eye contact with drivers; avoid wearing ear buds or using your phone; don’t dart out between parked cars. Look for cars backing up; look left-right-left before stepping into the crosswalk, a green light or “WALK” signal does not indicate it is safe to cross; walk facing traffic; and wear bright clothes during the day and reflective material (or use a flashlight) at night.

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