FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Jeff Salzgeber (512) 743-2659
BALTIMORE (October 1, 2020) – Drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists can expect to see the unexpected when a gaggle of social distancing, spandex-wearing “signal people” hit Baltimore area streets in high-priority areas this month. They’ll be wearing LED-lit backpack billboards with messages for drivers to stop for pedestrians, for walkers to always cross at signal lights and in crosswalks, and for everyone to stay alert and aware of their surroundings.
In recognition of October as national Pedestrian Safety Month, the unconventional messengers are allies of Look Alive campaign spokeswoman Signal Woman — the pedestrian symbol in “walk/don’t walk” signal light boxes who’s been brought to life and is now dishing out practical safety advice on Instagram (@SignalWoman) and Twitter (@Signal_Woman).
The approach is an eye-catching way to draw attention to steps for preventing an increase in crashes between drivers and walkers that typically occur when fall brings less daylight and darker commuting hours. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, three of every four pedestrian fatalities occur after dark. Last year, there were 61 pedestrian fatalities and 238 serious pedestrian injuries in the Baltimore region.
The Look Alive campaign offers safety tips for drivers and pedestrians (see below). Learn more about the program at LookAliveMD.org.
Street campaign with walking billboards to promote pedestrian safety
- October 1, 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm, Eastern Avenue (MD150) at Rolling Mill
- October 3, 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm, South Calvert at East Lombard, Baltimore
- October 6, 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm, Liberty Road (MD26) and Old Court Road
Socially-distancing “Signal People” clad in white spandex from head to toe and wearing LED-lighted walking billboards with important safety reminders. Please make sure media vehicles are parked away from traffic.
STREET SAFETY TIPS
If you’re driving…
- Slow down and obey the speed limit.
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.
- Be careful when passing buses or stopped vehicles.
- When turning, yield to people walking and biking.
- Look for bicyclists before opening your door.
- Allow at least 3 feet when passing bikes.
- Avoid using your cell phone and never text while driving.
If you’re walking…
- Cross the street at crosswalks and intersections.
- Use the pushbuttons.
- Wait for the walk signal to cross the street.
- Watch for turning vehicles.
- Before crossing look left, right, and left again.
- Be visible. Wear something light or reflective after dark.
- Watch out for blind spots around trucks and buses.
- Avoid using your cell phone when crossing the street.
The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) works collaboratively with the chief elected officials in the region to create initiatives to improve our quality of life and economic vitality. BMC, as the Baltimore region’s council of governments, hosts the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB), the federal metropolitan planning organization (MPO), and supports local government by coordinating efforts in a range of policy areas including emergency preparedness, housing, cooperative purchasing, environmental planning and workforce development.
BMC’s Board of Directors includes the executives of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford and Howard counties, the mayor of the City of Baltimore, a member of the Carroll County and Queen Anne’s County boards of commissioners, a member of the Maryland State Senate, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, and a gubernatorial appointee from the private sector.