By Dallas Hammit / ADOT Deputy Director for Transportation
It may be hard to believe, but
the summer is starting to wind
down. We’re entering into the
time of year when students
head back to school, the days
get shorter and we all start to see
more events going on the calendar
as temperatures begin to cool.
It’s also when we begin to see more
pedestrians and cyclists take to
the streets, making now the perfect
time to review and improve our
habits when it comes to sharing the road.
Yes, I know I share this same message every
year around this time, but it is something that’s
worth repeating — especially since pedestrian involved
crashes and fatalities spiked last year.
The number of pedestrians killed rose to 197
in 2016 from 163 the year before and crashes
increased by 16 percent, from 1,408 in 2015 to
1,637 last year.
Those numbers should tell all of us —
motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists — that we
need to pay attention, slow down and avoid
distractions when traveling.
As someone who enjoys bicycling (I even
bike to work at least once a week), I’ve seen
firsthand some of the close calls that occur
when everyone’s not paying attention to the
road. Intersections pose a notable challenge
because drivers aren’t always looking out for
bicyclists or pedestrians.
Luckily, there are some great resources that
focus on how to safely handle intersections, blind spots, crosswalks and
everything in between. You can
find those guides on ADOT’s Bicycle
and Pedestrian Program website at
. Look for “Sharing
the Road with Pedestrians”
and “Arizona Bicycling Street
Smarts.” Both publications offer
information on Arizona traffic laws
and important safety tips.
And, as always, please share these
resources with your friends and
loved ones and take the opportunity to talk
with them about making safe choices.
Editor's Note: More safety messages from Dallas Hammit, ADOT's state engineer, are available at Driving Safety Home on azdot.gov.