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Countermeasures in this chapter are primarily aimed at improving safety behaviors of pedestrians and drivers through education and enforcement measures, and are organized by pedestrian sub groups:

  • Preschool-age children;
  • School-age children;
  • Alcohol-impaired pedestrians; and
  • All pedestrians.

The final section contains countermeasures that may affect all groups of pedestrians as well as drivers. Additional information about countermeasures involving a comprehensive approach to improving pedestrian (and bicycle) safety is provided in NHTSA’s Advancing Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety: A Primer for Highway Safety Professionals (Brookshire et al., 2016).

Basic countermeasure principles include addressing those issues identified specifically through problem identification at the community level. Common themes include:

  • Reducing vehicle speed, which allows pedestrians and drivers more time to react and reduces impact forces if crashes do occur.
  • Conducting speed enforcement, especially at high risk crash locations (for pedestrian/motorist interactions).
  • Reducing exposure to known risky situations through behavioral and environmental countermeasures (without necessarily discouraging walking).
  • Increasing enforcement of pedestrian-friendly laws addressing behaviors of both pedestrians and motorists.
  • Increasing the conspicuity of pedestrians and/or encouraging walking in areas of enhanced lighting for road crossing.
  • Reducing distracted walking or driving behaviors (cell phones, headphones, etc.). See the chapter on distracted and drowsy driving for countermeasures targeting drivers.
  • Decreasing walking or driving while impaired. See the chapter on strategies to reduce alcohol-impaired driving. Some of the countermeasures would be applicable to address any type of impaired roadway use.
  • Educating motorists and pedestrians on required safety behaviors related to specific laws to enhance safe interaction between motorists and pedestrians on the roadway.
  • Tailoring countermeasures to diverse populations, including groups such as recent immigrants who may not be familiar with U.S. traffic laws, the U.S. traffic environment, may not speak or read English, or may not be literate in their native language.

Select countermeasures to address particular problems identified in communities or common to a high-risk group in a community, such as middle aged or older adults, the homeless, or children of varying ages. Remember to base the selected groups on the data. Tailoring may be needed to address diverse populations, such as recent immigrants who may not be familiar with U.S. traffic laws, the U.S. traffic environment, may not speak or read English, or be literate in their native language.