Fairfield, CT - We have all seen the recent articles about increases in pedestrian deaths nationwide. In 2021, there were 7,388 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes, a 12.5% increase from the 6,565 pedestrian fatalities in 2020. This is the highest since 1981, or 40 years. Fairfield has likewise experienced an increase over the last three years.
The Fairfield Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee is committed to improving safety through education, such as the recommendations listed below, as well as support for implementation of traffic calming measures, and striving to achieve a “Vision Zero” goal. Vision Zero describes a belief that even one life lost in a vehicular accident is unacceptable, and that resulting deaths and injuries are preventable using all available tools to eliminate conditions and behaviors that lead to serious injuries and death.
Below are a few critical items that pedestrians should follow to improve their walking safety:
• Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available. Don’t walk in the road if one is available.
• If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side, close to curb, facing traffic. In fact, it’s a State of CT Statute 14-300(c), violation of which can result in an infraction.
• Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections. Do not cross between parked cars.
Lastly, as the days grow shorter, there is an additional suggestion to improve your safety:
Increase your visibility when walking at night by carrying a flashlight and wearing reflective clothing, such as reflective vests. Avoid wearing dark clothing.
If we all follow these few simple suggestions, we can improve our individual safety while enjoying the benefits of walking and enjoying our town. Please also support National Walk to School Day on October 4th!