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.