Fresno police chief discusses pedestrian safety

With the large number of pedestrian fatalities this year, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer is urging pedestrian, motorists and bicyclists to be extra cautious maneuvering through Fresno’s streets. Dyer said that 13 pedestrians and two bicyclists have been killed this year after being struck by vehicles. Another pedestrian was killed Friday

“As the city grieves the loss of Melissa Dowd, an aspiring physician with a desire and calling to help others, I can’t help but think about all of the families who are mourning the loss of a loved one killed in a traffic collision and will struggle through this holiday season without them,” Dyer wrote in a commentary in today’s Fresno Bee.

“Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians share our roads, sidewalks, parking lots, driveways and pathways. Technology, engineering, education and effective enforcement tactics has made driving a vehicle safer than ever. However, we have seen a disturbing trend in our city with pedestrian fatalities.”

Dyer said that the vast majority of pedestrian deaths in Fresno were caused by the pedestrians, who did not cross streets safely. He also said that the most dangerous time for pedestrians is between 6 p.m. and midnight. The chief offered these safety tips:

– Don’t assume vehicles will stop. Make eye contact with the driver and be sure of their intent or action.

– Obey traffic signals at all times even when vehicular traffic is light.

– Do not rely solely on pedestrian signals; look before you enter the road.

– When crossing the street always use marked crosswalks.

– Wear bright clothing at night. Be seen.

– Watch for right-turning vehicles. The driver may be looking in the other direction.

Responses

Brian Murray says:

Was his editorial printed in Vida en el Valle?…how about a few billboards around town…who are the Bee and the Chief speaking to with an editorial in the Bee?

Kim Tanksley says:

Three things have caused the rise in pedestrian accidents; lack of courtesy, arrogance and false security. Fewer people practice courtesy than ever before. We are a culture of “me first” and “My time is more important than yours” rather than the courtesy of “after you” and “let me get that door for you.” There used to be pride and acclaim given to those with chivalry, manners and kindness. Those simple acts would eliminate most accidents, pedestrian deaths and road rage incidents. Those who drink and drive, text and put on makeup, speed, tailgate and weave in and out of traffic are arrogant. They believe then are more skilled, their time more important and their activities are more relavant than the safety of those arround them. Pedestrians exhibit these same attitudes. They step out in traffic, they expect people to see them when it is quite possible it is too dark or the traffic situation too complex that they could be missed… etc. These stupid cross walks with blinking lights adds to this sense of false security and set up situations where the lights “cry wolf” and are starting to be ignored. Pedestrians treat the lights like body armor. Drivers need to drive with the thought “I dont’ want to hurt anyone… I have a responsibility to my fellow man.” Pedestrians need to cross streets with the thought, “Not everyone can see me, someone may be distracted or unattentive, I am responsible for my own safety…” We have legislated our society toward these attitudes when all we needed to do is give people a swift kick in the butt when they needed it.

Brian Murray says:

I open doors all the time for people and allow others to go before me always( a learned behavior from my parents)…it’s mostly the elderly that acknowledge it with a “Thank You” and a smile…those that don’t, well it’s not a problem with me and you can bet the house that I do not take my safety for granted out there amongst the masses…that’s about all you can do as an editorial does not heighten anyones’ awareness that’s not already considerate…others are going to display the attitudes they have been taught.

Kim Tanksley says:

Duhh… clearly an editorial does not change the attitudes of folks with bad attitudes. That doesnt mean an editorial doesnt open up constructive conversation between those that care and do want to address the issue. Hopefully it will be an impetus stop this attitude that the issue requires more legislation, have more money thrown at it or conteract the idea that the city or county should be sued everytime someone is hurt or killed. Instead of blaming an outside source people need to return to the reality that their own actions, on the part of the drivers and pedestrians, is at the root of the problem.

Brian Murray says:

Kim…I’m glad at least two (make that three including Jimbo)…were so deeply affected by the editorial…and so it goes.

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