AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the Amarillo district of the Texas Department of Transportation recently announced that its “Be Safe, Drive Smart” pedestrian safety campaign kicked off Monday for National Pedestrian Safety Month.

According to a news release from the department, this campaign includes TV and radio spots, billboards and digital advertising, letting members of the community know the importance of reminding drivers and pedestrians to stay alert as the days get shorter.

“The fall season means not only a shift to cooler temperatures but also fewer hours of daylight, and visibility becomes an issue,” TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams said in the release. “It’s important for motorists to pay attention and look out for people walking, and for pedestrians to make sure they take steps to be seen.”

According to the release, pedestrian traffic fatalities increased by 15% throughout the state in 2021. Within the Amarillo district, there were 64 traffic crashes involving pedestrians, resulting in 11 fatalities and 29 “serious injuries.”

Officials with the department are asking for individuals to follow the following safety tips as the days do get shorter. For drivers, the department asks that they:

  • Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks;
  • When turning, yield the right of way to pedestrians;
  • Be cautions when passing stopped buses or other vehicles;
  • Pay attention and put their phone way:
  • Follow the posted speed limit and drive to conditions.

For those individuals who are walking, the department asks them to:

  • Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks;
  • Look left, right and then left again before crossing;
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing and don’t assume drivers see them;
  • Follow all traffic and crosswalk signals;
  • Use the sidewalk and if there isn’t one, walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic;
  • When walking, put away electronic devices that take their eyes and ears off the road;
  • Wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.

For more information about the Amarillo district of the Texas Department of Transportation, visit its website.