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Hesperia, Calif. – October is National Pedestrian Safety Month and Hesperia Police Department encourages the public to remember that everyone is a pedestrian.

In an effort to promote a safe walking environment in our community, Hesperia Police Department will focus on locations with a higher number of incidents of vehicle crashes involving pedestrians. Deputies will monitor crosswalks for drivers and pedestrians who fail to yield the right-of-way or other violations that put pedestrians at risk.

The number of pedestrians killed has grown by about 50% over the past decade, with 6,283 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes nationwide in 2018, or one traffic-related pedestrian death every 84 minutes.

Excess speed, crossing outside crosswalks and impairment are the main factors that lead to a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle.

Hesperia Police Department offers the following tips for drivers and pedestrians:
Drivers
• Slow down on busy streets and intersections.
• Always look for pedestrians in intersections. Stop and allow pedestrians to cross. Pedestrians have the right-of-way at all marked or unmarked crosswalks.
• Stay off the phone and avoid other distracting behaviors such as eating, grooming, or using in-dash touch screens.
• Do your best to not block crosswalks making a right-hand turn.
• Keep headlights on at night and be extra careful when pedestrians are harder to see.

Pedestrians
• Obey signs and signals. Try to cross at marked crosswalks, preferably at stop signs or signals where cars expect to see pedestrians.
• Make eye contact and nod or wave at drivers. A quick nod or wave is an easy way to let a driver know you see them, and they see you.
• Get in the habit of walking with a flashlight or wearing a reflective vest at night so it is easier for drivers to spot you.
• If you need to briefly walk into the street to maintain social distancing on sidewalks, look both ways for passing cars.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.