Pedestrian Safety Facts
- More than 39,000 children sustain nonfatal pedestrian injuries each year.
- In 2005, there were 339 pedestrian fatalities in children ages 14 years and under. The year prior, 583 children died and nearly 70 percent of these
- Deaths were motor vehicle-related traffic crashes
- The maturity level of a child under 10 years of age makes him/her unable to correctly gauge the speed of vehicles putting them at greater risk for injury and death
Laws and Regulations
- In 2005, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) was signed into law. The SAFETEA-LU includes the establishment of Safe Routes to School, a program with the goal of making it safer for children to walk or bike to school. The Safe Routes to School program aims to:
- Fix or improve sidewalks
- Execute traffic calming and speed reduction measures
- Improve pedestrian and bicycle crossings
- Conduct public education campaigns to encourage walking and biking to school.
- State and local laws created to protect child pedestrians include:
- Lower speed limits in residential areas
- Protection of pedestrians in crosswalks
- Providing pedestrian walkways
- Prohibition of vehicles from passing school buses while loading and unloading passengers
- Providing crossing guards and requiring pedestrians to not cross streets at locations other than designated crosswalks.