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The calendar still says spring, but the temperatures are increasingly saying summer. It's time to satiate that spring fever — and spring quarantine — by getting out of the house.

More of us are taking to the roads, as well as walking, biking and running.

We're reopening our economy, and we're getting out. That's great, but safety goes beyond coronavirus concerns.

Starting Sunday, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety will undergo a week-long campaign focusing on pedestrian safety. It will be geared toward pedestrians and drivers, educating both about being alert and what to watch out for to ensure everyone is safe.

According to the coalition, 110 pedestrians were killed in Missouri and 307 were seriously injured in 2019. The top pedestrian contributing factors involved were failure to yield, alcohol or drug impairment, and distraction/inattention.

"We encourage all drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to make safe choices so everyone, no matter the mode of transportation, makes it to their destination safe," said MoDOT Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer Nicole Hood.

MoDOT urges everyone to keep these pedestrian safety tips in mind:

Drivers and pedestrians need to make eye contact with each other. Don't assume that the other one has seen you.

If you're in a stalled vehicle alongside the roadway, stay in the vehicle with your seat belt on until help arrives.

Only cross at an intersection or crosswalk — stepping out from between parked cars or other obstacles by the road can keep a driver from being able to see you and stop in time.

Look left, right and then left again before crossing an intersection or crosswalk — you always want to double check the lane that you'll be entering first.

Be aware of drivers even when you are in a designated crosswalk — drivers can look and use their mirrors, but there are always blind spots.

Don't wear headphones while walking or biking — you won't to be able to hear if a car is coming.

Always wear brightly colored clothing for visibility when exercising alongside a roadway.

Always walk against the flow of traffic rather than with the traffic.

Always be cautious when exiting parking lots and be on the lookout for pedestrians.

Drivers, buckle up, slow down and watch the roadways with particular attention to pedestrians.

We have enough concerns this summer with a worldwide pandemic. Let's not add pedestrian death statistics, which can be avoided.

News Tribune

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