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HOUSTONTexas (KIAH) October is National Pedestrian Safety Month, a time to remind drivers to look out for people walking on Texas roadways. Fall brings cooler temperatures and waning daylight hours. With this in mind, TxDOT is launching its “Be Safe. Drive Smart” campaign this week, asking drivers and pedestrians to remain alert and watch out for one another, especially as Texas residents are out on foot to exercise, run errands, walk the dog, or access public transportation.

The Texas Department of Transportation reports that pedestrian deaths account for one in five of all traffic fatalities. In 2020, there were 4,852 traffic crashes involving pedestrians in Texas, resulting in 731 fatalities and 1,211 serious injuries. From 2016 to 2020, pedestrian fatalities resulting from traffic crashes increased 5 percent. 

To help reduce injuries and fatalities on area roadways, TxDOT is launching its “Be Safe. Drive Smart” pedestrian and bicyclist safety campaign this week.

As Texans travel to their destinations this Fall, TxDOT wants them to know the laws for safe walking, biking and driving—and to follow them. Drivers are required to take specific steps to protect pedestrians and bicyclists, who are more likely to be killed or seriously injured when involved in a crash with a motor vehicle. State laws mandate stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks, yielding the right of way to pedestrians and bicyclists when turning, and passing bicyclists at a safe distance and giving them room to ride. 

CW39 reporter Sydney Simone has LIVE reports all morning long on the new campaign.