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‘See Me AZ’ campaign launches to reduce pedestrian and cyclist deaths

(Twitter photo/@MAGregion)

PHOENIX- Pedestrian and bicycle crashes continually claim the lives of more than 100 people each year in Arizona’s most populous county. A campaign raising awareness to reduce those deaths has just launched across Maricopa county, officials announced.

“See Me AZ” aims to educate people on research that indicates most crashes occur when drivers, cyclists or pedestrians don’t see each other.

“The safety of everyone on our roads is critically important,” Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers, chair of the MAG Regional Council, said in the release. “We know that traffic crashes involving pedestrian deaths are a growing public health concern and that we need to quickly figure out the root causes.”

Along with the regional awareness program, the cities Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler and Glendale will heighten their enforcement efforts in the last two weeks of April and October, according to Margaret Herrera, transportation safety program manager at MAG.

Each of the four local pilot agencies has free reign to use their resources and policies during the targeted two-week period however they see fit, Herrera says. Adding, “they’ll be looking for things such as people not yielding the right of way to the driver or yielding the right of way to the pedestrian.”

As part of the campaign, poster and bus ad templates may be displayed in future partnerships with information for all users on the road on how to stay safe and aware when commuting.

“We are looking into partnering with valley metro and we may work with them on wraps for their trains or we may provide for the October pilot some vehicle wrap for police officers,” Herrera said.

Results of the local campaigns will be captured through both pre- and post-surveys, and MAG will continue to seek different partnerships and opportunities to expand awareness.

“We’re really hoping to change the culture around safety and to make people aware of what their responsibilities are, not just as a driver, but also as a pedestrian and as a cyclist,” Herrera said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gabriel Gamino contributed to this report.

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