Officials encourage road safety for drivers, pedestrians amid busier summer months

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 7:02 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2021 at 7:17 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — With summer upon us, that means more are cars sharing roadways with bicyclists, runners and walkers.

“So far this year, 24 people have died walking in Minnesota and 224 have died in vehicle crashes that alone,” said Anne Meyer of MnDOT Communications.

In an effort to reduce traffic fatalities, the Minnesota Department of Transportation launched the Let’s Move Safely Together campaign, with simple messages people can do to increase safety while traveling.

“Slowing down, stopping for people who are crossing the road. When walking, just really be alert, pay attention and look always when crossing the street,” said Meyer.

Locally, Mankato Public Safety offers additional advice on staying safe.

“Our advice is if you’re walking on the sidewalk, make sure you stay on the sidewalk. If you’re going to cross at an intersection, make sure you cross where there is a crosswalk,” Mankato Public Safety Commissioner Dan Schisel said.

Schisel says bicyclists and walkers should try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing.

In addition, distractions, from phones to music also play a big role in crashes for both pedestrians and drivers.

“If you’re a driver, make sure you are also aware of your surroundings, know where that bicyclist is, know where that walker is, and if something would pop out and you’d need to make a quick stop, make sure you are paying attention,” said Schisel.

Schisel also advises drivers to watch speeds in construction zones and areas where people are expected to be out, such as parks or neighborhoods.

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