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HDOT Announces Pedestrian Safety Month in August

July 25, 2017, 10:01 AM HST
* Updated July 24, 12:36 PM
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Walk Wise Hawaii is a public education program focusing on pedestrian safety and driver awareness and is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation through its “Safe Communities” program.

The 8th annual Pedestrian Safety Month campaign kicks off statewide in August to raise awareness around pedestrian safety and reduce related fatalities and injuries, the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) has announced.

“The primary cause of pedestrian accidents is inattentive behavior on both the part of the pedestrian and the driver,” HDOT Director Ford Fuchigami said. “Our Walk Wise Hawai‘i program is an important tool, along with enforcement and safety engineering, in increasing awareness to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries in our state.”

According to an HDOT news release, there were nearly 6,000 pedestrian deaths in the U.S. in 2016–the highest number in more than 20 years. State data shows 32 pedestrians were killed in Hawai‘i in 2016, with one pedestrian fatality in 2017.

“On average, a pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes nationwide,” Fuchigami said. “We believe that this alarming trend can be reduced through increased awareness of the problem and education, which is why we created Pedestrian Safety Month. Protecting our most vulnerable roadway users is one of our top priorities.”

Pedestrian Safety Month is organized by the HDOT’s Walk Wise Hawai‘i program, and will feature daily public and private pedestrian safety events.

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Gov. David Ige announced the kick-off of the campaign with an official proclamation ceremony on Monday, July 24, at the State Capitol. During the event, HDOT also announced a new community partnership with the Girl Scouts of Hawai‘i to conduct safety presentations to nearly 5,000 Girl Scouts statewide. The Girl Scout troops will create a pedestrian safety project so share at Walk Wise Hawai‘i events, earning Walk Wise Hawai‘i Pedestrian Safety patches.

Graphic courtesy of HDOT.

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“Pedestrian Safety is an important message to everyone, and Girl Scouts in Hawai‘i look forward to carrying that message throughout our community,” said Shari Chang, CEO of Girl Scouts of Hawai‘i. “Scouts of all ages will be participating in a variety of community awareness projects to support this program.”

Drive Wise Hawai‘i has released a new brochure as part of the campaign, which outlines ways that drivers can increase pedestrian safety on local roadways.

Brochures will be distributed throughout the state during the month of August at participating McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawai‘i drive-through locations and community events.

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Find Pedestrian Safety Month events happening near you online at: https://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/files/2013/01/Pedestrian-safety-month-calendar-2017-2.jpg.

For more information on Walk Wise Hawai‘i and a list of Pedestrian Safety Month events, call (808) 587-2160 or visit https://www.facebook.com/WalkWiseHawaii/.

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