A screen shot from a city of Dunwoody video of Dunwoody Police cracking down on motorists not yielding for pedestrians in crosswalks during a recent undercover operation.

A pedestrian safety campaign to raise awareness about rules of the road for motorists and walkers hit the streets in Dunwoody on Aug. 5 to coincide with the first day of school. The campaign includes videos, safety tips and a website to learn more about actions the city is taking to improve pedestrian safety.

The campaign, named “See and Be Seen: We’re All Responsible,” is coordinated through the Dunwoody Police Department, Dunwoody Public Works, Dunwoody Geographic Information System and the pedestrian advocacy group PEDS.

“Our mayor and City Council are very concerned about this issue,” said Communications Director Jennifer Boettcher in a press release. “After some close calls and accidents this year, they wanted the city to do more. The start of a new school year is the perfect time to talk about what drivers and pedestrians can do to make our roads and crosswalks safer.”

One video for the campaign includes a local teen describing how she was nearly struck by a speeding car as she used the crosswalk to cross the street at North Peachtree Road and Tilly Mill Road while walking home from track practice.

Another video shows an undercover Dunwoody Police officer crossing a street using a sidewalk to test whether motorists stop to allow him to cross.

YouTube video

Public Works Director Michael Smith and Sally Flocks, president and CEO of PEDS, discuss in another video the importance of crosswalks at major intersections and how beacon lighting at crosswalks help motorists notice where there are pedestrians crossing the street.

The final video includes Dunwoody Girl Scout Anna Wilkinson explaining why she started the “Take It To Make It” pedestrian flag project after a close call in a crosswalk on the way to school. Orange flags are posted at certain intersection to allow pedestrians to grab one and use it to be better seen by drivers as they cross the street.

The Dunwoody Police Department has conducted several pedestrian traffic safety enforcement details since the state’s new hands-free law went into effect one year ago making it illegal for drivers to hold their phone while driving. In that time, officers have issued 1,174 citations to motorists violating this law, according to Police Chief Billy Grogan.

A pedestrian safety enforcement detail in April resulted in 32 citations written to motorists using their phone while driving, not wearing their seatbelts and not yielding to pedestrians in a crosswalk.

“A big safety concern for pedestrians and motorists alike is distracted drivers,” Police Chief Billy Grogan said in a press release. “Bringing attention to this dangerous violation and gaining compliance is a priority for our department.”

Some safety tips from Dunwoody Police :

  • Drivers must stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk when the pedestrian is anywhere on the driver’s side of the road or approaching the driver’s side of the road.
  • Drivers must stop behind a crosswalk, and not in it. Drivers must also never pass a car stopped at a crosswalk.
  • Pedestrians should use sidewalks where they are provided and not use the roadway unless there is no vehicle within 1,000 feet.

The campaign is also designed to highlight Dunwoody’s pedestrian safety projects. In the 10 years since incorporation, Dunwoody has expanded the sidewalk network by 20 percent with 11 miles of new sidewalks.

The city is halfway to its original goal of having sidewalks on both sides of all main thoroughfares and roads that connect residential areas to the main roads. Most of the improvements recommended in a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan in 2014 have been implemented, with additional improvements planned within the next two years, according to the city.

Here’s a link to the videos and more information about See and Be Seen: https://dunwoodyga.gov/pedestriansafety

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.