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Pedestrian-shaming campaigns have got to stop

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Pedestrian-shaming campaigns have got to stop Pedestrian-shaming campaigns have got to stop

Pedestrian-shaming campaigns have got to stop

New York and Pittsburgh are the latest cities to blame walkers for their deadly street design Halloween is the perfect time to make people afraid of the dark. Maybe that?s why New York City?s Department of Transportation is employing spooky tactics to scare pedestrians by telling New Yorkers that walking at night is dangerous.
A campaign that launched today is the newest misguided attempt to prevent traffic deaths by shaming pedestrians?not by addressing the root causes of our country?s frightening epidemic: too many drivers using increasingly inadequate infrastructure.
Every year, cities see a spike in traffic deaths when it gets dark earlier, so NYC?s DOT has planned a week of awareness pegged to the end of Daylight Saving Time, telling people they should be more careful after the sun goes down. To get the word out, ?street teams? are handing out flyers at dangerous intersections around New York City, buses and billboards will host ads, and radio spots will air during the evening commute. All at a cost of about $1.5 million.
The darkness-is-dangerous messaging is the latest in the particularly gory ?Your Choices Matter? campaign rolled out by the city?s Vision Zero initiative, with the goal to eliminate traffic fatalities. This year has seen an increase in traffic deaths compared to 2015.

Are you scared yet"

But the problem with this kind of messaging?and any kind of ?awareness? campaign when it comes to traffic safety?is that it always blames pedestrians for engaging in some kind of risky behavior. In this case, it?s daring to venture out after dark. There have been plenty of other pedestrian-shaming campaigns?starting with the invention of the term jaywalking?which target walkers for their choice of clothing, smartphone use, or simply not ?paying attention.?
Toronto Transit Commission
Toronto?s pedestrian shaming campaign told residents to wear black at their own risk

In DC, you are supposed to make eye contact with every driver

These campaigns don?t address the real problem: More drivers are driving more cars than ever through poorly designed city streets.
This is not to say that New York City shouldn?t be taking some kind of action. According to crash data collected in the city, the number of pedestrians killed or injured at dusk increases by about 40 percent during the darkest months. It makes sense that the NYPD would want to do something, as it?s clear this is when the most people will be hurt.

Crash data shows an increase in pedestrian deaths just after dark on the shortest days of the year

But instead of making New Yorkers wary of the impending darkness, the campaign should address bigger issues around street design, lighting, and enforcement that would save lives day or night, in any weather, at any time of year. Especially in a place like New York, where the streets don?t shut down a...
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Pedestrian-shaming campaigns have got to stop Pedestrian-shaming campaigns have got to stop


Fuente de la noticia: curbed
Fecha de publicación: 29-10-2016 21:56
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