The city of Pasadena has a simple, clear message for drivers: Stop Before the Line.
The city’s Transportation Department was awarded a public education grant—from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration—to remind drivers to stop their vehicles before the double white, crosswalk lines.
Common knowledge? Perhaps. But in 2009, Pasadena ranked as second worst in California cities its size for pedestrians killed and injured, following Berkeley.
Statistics showed that most of the collisions happened at intersections with traffic signals, and more than 80 percent were the driver’s fault.
The city’s Transportation staff realized they needed to reach out to drivers to get them on their side. As Traffic Engineer Joaquin Siques said, “It is not a case of drivers versus pedestrians, because the fact is, every time motorists step out of their cars, they become pedestrians. In this fight, everyone wins.”
Traffic engineers agree that stopping before the line is critical to the safety of Pasadena’s pedestrians. Those extra two feet make all the difference.
The Stop Before the Line campaign, running through May, features Pasadena’s safety mascots Dena the pedestrian and Otis the driver. In the introductory phase of the campaign, Dena and Otis exchange tips and ideas online via the campaign website www.cityofpasadena.net/trans/watch4pedestrians and other new media.
Targeted at motorists and pedestrians to help make Pasadena a safer place to walk, the website is the place to go for the public to weigh in and learn more.
There are benefits from participating retailers for doing so. Supporting outreach materials being distributed by local merchants include stickers, magnetic decals, and posters in English and Spanish. Other media include billboards, public service announcements and events, all designed to increase awareness of pedestrian safety among both those who walk and those who drive.
Previously, the Pasadena Police Department obtained a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program grant from the OTS. That grant provides funding for enforcement operations targeting drunk driving, speed, red-light running, and other intersection-related violations, all in an effort to help combat pedestrian-involved auto collisions.
For more information call (626) 744-6900.