Alexandria City Council issues Pedestrian Safety Week Proclamation

According to the Alexandria Police Department, there were 184 vehicle/pedestrian crashes in Alexandria from 2017 to 2019, and these crashes seriously injured 20 pedestrians & killed eight pedestrians; and

Pedestrian collisions at 20mph kill one in 10, but at 40mph kill 9 in 10, according to the Federal Highway Administration & National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and

Distracted driving due to smartphone use causes an increasing number of pedestrian collisions; and the shift away from passenger cars to SUVs and light trucks leads to more injuries in pedestrian crashes; and

Vehicle/pedestrian crashes in Alexandria are more likely to occur during the fall and winter months due to the end of Daylight Saving time, shorter days, and often more inclement weather, which all present high-risk conditions for pedestrians; and

The last week of October and the first weekend of November coincides with Halloween and children are considered vulnerable road users that are more severely affected by crashes; Nov. 1 is when Daylight Saving ends, and sunset arrives an hour earlier.

In support of safer streets and the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Nov. 15, 2020, do hereby proclaim the week beginning Monday, Oct. 26. 2020 as Pedestrian Safety Awareness Week.

Alexandria Families for Safe Streets and the Alexandria Police Department want to remind drivers about a recent Virginia Traffic Law that requires drivers to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, instead of just yielding. Drivers must come to a full stop for pedestrians in any marked and unmarked crosswalks and remain stopped until the pedestrian passes your vehicle stopped at a crosswalk; the driver of any other approaching vehicle may not pass the stopped vehicle.

On Nov. 1, 2020 when Daylight Saving ends and sunset arrives an hour earlier during Standard Time, drivers are advised to be alert to pedestrians in crosswalks and pedestrians who wear reflective gear after dark are more likely to be seen by drivers.