New Mexico DOT launches 'Look For Me' pedestrian safety campaign
Tina Grady Barbaccia | November 1, 2011
The New Mexico Department of Transportation’s (NMDOT) new “Look For Me” educational campaign is a “safety blitz” to remind pedestrians and motorists to look when out on New Mexico’s roadways.
The new campaign began with a news conference in Albuquerque to announce the NMDOT’s “Pedestrian Safety Blitzes” beginning this month. The blitzes will be held in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Farmington, Gallup, and Las Cruces. Local police will be targeting drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks as part of NMDOT’s pedestrian safety campaign.
“Pedestrian safety is literally a two way street,” NMDOT Deputy Transportation Secretary Kathryn Bender said in a press release. “Both drivers and walkers alike have responsibilities and our ‘Look For Me’ message will be reinforced through the assistance of police and local observers.”
NMDOT is launching the “Look For Me” pedestrian safety campaign through a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Bus advertisements and radio messages touting the NMDOT’s safety program will target motorists and pedestrians alike.
The NMDOT’s pedestrian safety effort also has the support of the New Mexico Department of Health.
“Ensuring the health and wellbeing of New Mexicans is always our top priority, said Cabinet Secretary Dr. Catherine Torres. “The Department of Health commends the efforts and will continue to work closely with the Department of Transportation to provide injury prevention education and urban development suggestions to ensure the safe transportation of all.”
New Mexico law requires motorists to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
During the pedestrian safety blitz, police will be citing drivers for the following:
• Blocking crosswalks
• Failure to yield right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks
• Making improper turns into crosswalks
• Failure to obey “No Turn on Red” while pedestrians are present
This enforcement detail will consist of police officers and observers. All of the blitzes will occur at or near marked intersections and police will only warn or cite drivers if a pedestrian has completely entered the crosswalk.
NMDOT officials are hopeful the result of the pedestrian effort will be safer streets for all users. “The primary focus of this program is to raise the awareness of pedestrian safety issues and to reduce the number of pedestrian and motorist crashes,” said Bender.
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