SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — TxDot is trying to bring down the number of pedestrians and bicyclists killed on Texas roads with a campaign that includes people wearing billboards.
The “Be Safe. Drive Smart” project is touring the state of Texas with a stop in downtown San Antonio on Wednesday from 8 am to 12 pm. You may notice ambassadors carrying the black and yellow sandwich billboards with messages in English and Spanish that remind drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians to follow traffic safety laws and watch out for each other.
Pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and serious injuries continue to rise in the Lone Star State. From 2017 to 2021, pedestrian crash deaths increased 34% and bicyclist crash deaths increased 58%. TxDOT is urging you to do your part in helping to reverse this dangerous and deadly trend.
In 2021 in the San Antonio area, there were 626 traffic crashes involving pedestrians, which resulted in 88 fatalities and 132 serious injuries. That same year, the San Antonio area saw 312 traffic crashes involving bicyclists, resulting in 8 fatalities and 22 serious injuries.
TxDOT’s “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign is also reminding you that motorists who fail to stop and yield and cause serious injury to someone in a crosswalk can face criminal penalties.
Texas law states that if you’re driving:
• Stop and yield for pedestrians, bicyclists and other vulnerable road users in crosswalks.
• When turning, yield the right of way to pedestrians and bicyclists.
• Pass bikes at a safe distance and give bicyclists room to ride.
If you’re walking:
• Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.
• Obey all traffic signs and signals, including at crosswalks.
• Use sidewalks. If there’s no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
If you’re riding a bike:
• Always stop at red lights and stop signs.
• Ride in the same direction as traffic and use bike lanes or ride as near as possible to the right-hand curb.
• Use hand signals when turning or stopping.
• At night, make sure your bike has a white light on the front and a red light or reflector on the back.