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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 5, 2021
Press Release: 21-0018
Contact: Shannon McCarthy, (907) 269-0448, Shannon.McCarthy@alaska.gov

October is Pedestrian Safety Month in Alaska
Alaska joins the national effort to improve safety for pedestrians

(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) –Governor Mike Dunleavy joined other states across the nation in declaring October as Pedestrian Safety Month, encouraging all Alaskans to drive safely, watch for pedestrians and be aware of all who share the road.

As a pedestrian, you can enjoy Alaska’s beauty, get exercise, and save money. National data shows that biking, walking and running have increased during the pandemic. However, pedestrians and bicyclists are at a particular disadvantage when it comes to crashes. In Alaska pedestrians are a small percent of the persons involved in crashes but are overrepresented in Alaska’s roadway fatalities. In 2021, Alaska has already recorded 13 pedestrian deaths.

Indications are that fatal pedestrian crashes are on the rise; the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, a national nonprofit representing state and territorial highway safety offices, found that in the U.S., 2020 had the largest annual increase in the rate of pedestrian fatalities.

Crashes with pedestrians are avoidable. The majority of these fatal crashes occur at night, and many of them occur mid-block, or outside of intersections. The department is encouraging motorists to be vigilant when driving in dark conditions, by eliminating distractions, putting cell phones away, moderating speeds and driving sober. Expect that pedestrians may be present, even outside of sidewalks, shoulders, or crosswalks. The department encourages pedestrians to wear retroreflective clothing after dark and utilize established crossings whenever possible. More information for both drivers and pedestrians can be found here. Governor Mike Dunleavy’s proclamation is posted here.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”

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