City working to raise safe pedestrian practices to improve safety

The City of Laguna Beach wants to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted walking and promoting safe practices for residents and visitors crossing streets. With the increase in pedestrian traffic and the growing use of mobile devices, this initiative focuses on raising awareness about the dangers of distracted walking and promoting safe practices for crossing streets.

“Pedestrian safety is a top priority for our city,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Sue Kempf. “We want everyone who walks in Laguna Beach to feel safe and secure. By raising awareness about the risks of distracted walking and promoting safe practices at crosswalks, we aim to reduce accidents and make our streets safer for everyone.”

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Photos courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

The City of Laguna Beach’s initiative focuses on raising awareness about the dangers of distracted walking and promoting safe practices for crossing streets

Laguna Beach Police Chief Jeff Calvert added, “It’s crucial for both pedestrians and drivers to be vigilant and attentive. Simple actions like putting away your phone while walking and making eye contact with drivers can significantly enhance safety. Let’s all do our part to keep Laguna Beach safe.”

Here are safety tips for pedestrians:

1. Always use designated crosswalks, press the button first and proceed with caution, as vehicles may not always stop even when the crosswalks are lit.

2. Look both ways before stepping into the crosswalk to cross the street, even when you have the right of way.  Make eye contact with drivers before crossing.

3. Cross in crosswalks at traffic light intersections whenever possible.

4. At the scramble intersection crosswalks, wait for the walk sign before crossing, even if the traffic signal changes for vehicles first.

5. Wear bright or reflective clothing, especially at dusk or at night, to increase visibility to drivers.

6. Avoid distractions such as texting or using headphones while walking near traffic or crossing the street.

7. Stay on sidewalks whenever possible, and if a sidewalk is not available, walk facing traffic to see oncoming vehicles.

Here are safety tips for drivers:

1. Be vigilant and watch for pedestrians, especially at crosswalks.

2. Avoid distractions such as texting or using your phone while driving.

3. Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and stop completely before allowing them to cross.

4. Be especially cautious in areas with heavy foot traffic and near schools.

California Assembly Bill 2147, which went into effect earlier this year, decriminalizes jaywalking when no immediate hazard is present. This change has raised concerns about pedestrian safety in cities across the state.

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Both pedestrians and drivers need to remain vigilant and be undistracted on our city streets

“While the intention behind California Assembly Bill 2147 may be to reduce unnecessary citations, it unfortunately undermines years of efforts to educate the public on pedestrian safety,” said Laguna Beach Police Chief Calvert. “This change creates a significant risk for both pedestrians and drivers. It’s essential for our community to remain vigilant and adhere to safe crossing practices to prevent accidents and ensure everyone’s safety on our streets.”

The City of Laguna Beach is committed to creating a safer environment for all. Through this campaign, we hope to foster a culture of safety and mutual respect between pedestrians and drivers.


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