Multiple agencies in the Borderland are teaming up for a second year in an effort to try to reduce pedestrian fatalities on the road.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is partnering with the El Paso Police Department, El Paso Electric, and the Socorro Independent School District for a pedestrian safety campaign.
The campaign comes just before Halloween and the end of daylight saving time. In just the past week, however, two children were killed in El Paso while crossing the street and the city has experienced at least eight pedestrian accidents over the past month.
There have been 23 pedestrian traffic-related deaths this year in El Paso, compared to 21 at this time last year. About half of those occurred on high speed roadways like Interstate 10 and U.S. Highway 54.
“It’s really up to both drivers and pedestrians to make sure that they are all adhering to the safest possible outcomes. We have seen that these things can change in an instant and lives are just irrevocably changed,” TxDOT spokesperson Jennifer Wright said.
Pedestrians are encouraged to always use a crosswalk and use sidewalks if available. It is illegal to walk in the road if a sidewalk is nearby. If there isn’t a sidewalk, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road facing traffic, as far away from traffic as possible.
“Things can change in an instant while we are driving,” TxDOT El Paso district engineer Tomas said. “Everyone always needs to be alert and pay attention, eliminate distractions like cell phones and listening devices and take extra precautions at night.”