Mayor's Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets

Pedestrian Education Enforcement Operation

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and City of Tucson staff are joining nearly 200 other communities nationwide in the “Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets” campaign. Tucson will join cities across the nation in committing to making roads safe and accessible for all users including pedestrians and bicyclists. To kick off the challenge, the Tucson Police Department (TPD) in partnership with the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) will conduct an enforcement operation to educate motorists who fail to yield to pedestrians.

At 9 a.m., on Tuesday, March 31, Mayor Rothschild will make a public announcement for the campaign during the crosswalk enforcement. The educational enforcement and news conference will take place at Sixth Street and National Championship Drive, in front of Arizona Stadium.

Mayor Rothschild is one of 196 Mayors across the nation who have pledged to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety through specific activities. Educating and enforcing proper road use behavior by all is one of the activities. Cities are utilizing crosswalk enforcement operations to promote pedestrian safety and to remind motorists that it is the law to yield to pedestrians in marked and unmarked crosswalks.

Officers dressed in plain clothes will cross the street while uniformed officers monitor the crosswalk for motorists who fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, or who take unsafe and illegal actions. The goal is to educate motorists and pedestrians on right-of-way laws. Research also shows that they can significantly increase driver’s yielding to pedestrians and also improve pedestrian behavior. In Tucson, failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk is a $225 citation.

The crosswalk enforcement program is also part of TPD’s ongoing pedestrian and bicycle safety efforts sponsored by grant funding from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The purpose of the grant is to reduce the incidence of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities and injuries on roadways and in school zones through enforcement, education and public awareness throughout the State of Arizona. The grant will be used to do targeted enforcement and education on violations that endanger bicycle and pedestrian safety. Due to the high incidences of pedestrian injuries and fatalities, Tucson is designated a “Pedestrian Safety Focus City” by the Federal Highway Administration. While 2014 marked a decline in pedestrian deaths, with a total of 10 fatalities, pedestrian safety remains a priority. This year, there have already been four pedestrian fatalities.

For additional information visit the City of Tucson’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program