CHENEY, Wash. - (THIS RELEASE COMES FROM THE SPOKANE REGIONAL HEALTH DISTRICT) Although the weather is still a bit chilly, the heat is on with upcoming pedestrian emphasis patrols in downtown Cheney.
The Spokane Regional Health District is sponsoring two enforcement efforts. It is all part of the health district's comprehensive pedestrian, bicyclist and motorist safety campaign, StickmanKnows.
Here is a complete listing of patrols, to be conducted by EWU and Cheney Police:
Feb. 21 Washington Street at PHASE Bldg. 9 a.m.- Noon
Feb. 23 Washington Street at Elm Street 9 a.m.- Noon
On average, 20 pedestrians and bicyclists are hit in Spokane County every month. Of the 997 pedestrian and bicyclist collisions occurring between 2006 and 2009, 3 percent resulted in death, while 11 percent resulted in serious injury. Cheney and Medical Lake areas contributed 14 pedestrian collisions to the total number.
StickmanKnows research shows that in Spokane County, when a pedestrian is at fault for a collision with a motorist, the main reasons are failure to use a crosswalk and the person did not grant right of way to the vehicle. When a motorist collides with a pedestrian the main reason is failure to yield to the right of way to the pedestrian.
Emphasis patrols are a proven way to alert those motorists and pedestrians whose actions put pedestrians at risk. During the patrol, a plainclothes officer will act as a pedestrian decoy and walk within the marked crosswalks multiple times throughout the three-hour period. Three other Cheney Police Department officers will be watching and waiting nearby to cite motorists that fail to yield to the pedestrian, a $124 fine. They will also provide education to these drivers via StickmanKnows education materials.
Officers will also be watching for pedestrians that fail to cross legally and cite them as well, a $56 fine, as well as providing them education as well.
The best ways for pedestrians to stay safe:
• Cross the street at marked crosswalks and intersections.
• Before crossing, look left, right, then left again.
• Use pedestrian pushbuttons.
• Begin crossing the street on "Walk" signal.
• Stay visible after dark and in bad weather.
• Watch out for trucks and buses backing out of parking spaces and driveways.
• Excessive alcohol consumption can impair the motor skills and judgment of pedestrians just as it does for drivers. Don't take the risk.
• Very small children should not cross street by themselves. Make sure your children are aware of pedestrian safety tips and laws.
The best ways for motorists to help keep pedestrians safe:
• Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, whether they are marked or unmarked.
• Slow down and obey the posted speed limit.
• Yield to pedestrians when turning.
• Be careful when passing stopped vehicles.
Also, when it comes to pedestrian and motorist collisions involving adults in Spokane County, they happen most often between October and February. That is why it is so important that pedestrians and motorists not underestimate the dangers of snow and ice. Motorists should use winter tires, as well as properly defrost and/or scrap windows before driving. Pedestrians should take sidewalks whenever possible and use extra caution when using crosswalks.
More information can also be found at www.srhd.org. SRHD's website offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community.
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