Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, November 04, 2013

Officers to Focus on Foot Patrols to Raise Awareness of Pedestrian Safety

Boise Police will begin a month-long focused foot patrol, at specific times and places with the goal of increasing pedestrian safety on our roadways.

“At some point, we all get out of our cars, we’re all pedestrians. We hope a very visible officer presence will raise awareness of the importance of paying attention to traffic laws and to pedestrians, especially in places where we know conflicts occur,” said Officer Mike Ruffalo of the Boise Police Patrol Division.

  • Beginning Tuesday, November 5th at 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., officers will walk along Front Street between South Avenue B and South 5th Street.
  • Beginning Friday, November 8th, officers will walk along North 6th Street between West Main and Grove Streets between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m.

Exact locations, times and days of the focused foot patrols will vary depending on officer’s availability, however the patrols will focus on the busy downtown area during predictably peak times.

“Officers will be on foot patrol and very visible. We’ll be talking to people and answering questions about traffic safety laws, but expect enforcement as well. Drivers or pedestrians who violate traffic laws risk getting a ticket.” said Officer Ruffalo. 

"We hope the officer's more visible presence will leave a lasting impression on the responsibility we all have in keeping our streets safe for all users regardless of how they chose to get around, be it by foot, bike, motorcycle or vehicle."

Pedestrian Collision Stats Nov 2013

Why Now:

  • Pedestrian Safety is always a concern. However, so far this year, two pedestrians have died on Boise streets, something the city has not seen since 2009.
  • Nationally, statistics also show an increase in deadly traffic collisions involving pedestrians. According to NHTSA data, 4,432 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2011 – an 8 percent increase since 2009.

Why the downtown area:

  • NHTSA figures show three out of four pedestrian deaths occurred in urban areas.
  • 70 percent of those killed were at non-intersections.
  • 70 percent of deaths occurred at night and many involved alcohol. Boise incidents follow these national trends.
  • September through January have the highest number of nationwide pedestrian fatalities, with typically fewer daylight hours and more inclement weather.

How Traffic Safety Laws play a role:

  • Speeding is a major contributing factor in crashes of all types. In 2003, speeding was a contributing factor in 31 percent of all fatal crashes.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol is a well-publicized issue as related to traffic crashes. However, alcohol is also a contributing factor in pedestrian crashes. Of the 4,622 traffic crashes that resulted in a pedestrian fatality in 2003, 34 percent involved pedestrians with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or greater.

What can Drivers do:

  • Look out for pedestrians, especially in hard-to-see conditions such as at night or in bad weather.
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk where pedestrians are likely to be.
  • Stop at the crosswalk stop line to give drivers in other lanes an opportunity to see and yield to the pedestrians, too.

What can Pedestrians do:

  • Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road, cross at crosswalks or intersections, and obey signs and signals.
  • Walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible if there is no sidewalk.
  • Pay attention to the traffic moving around you. This is not the time to be texting or talking on a cell phone.
  • Make eye contact with drivers as they approach. Never assume a driver sees you.
  • Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials (or use a flashlight) at night.
  • Look left-right-left before crossing a street.

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Fatal Pedestrian Collisions this year:

March 6, 2013 - Kelly Summers, 44 of Boise was struck and killed by a vehicle on North 36th Street. After a thorough review of the case by Boise Police and Ada County Prosecutors, no criminal charges were filed. 

Oct. 4, 2013 - Wiley Padden, 28 of Boise was hit by a driver on West State Street at Collister Drive. The incident was a hit and run. On Oct. 6, suspect Adam Weinert, 24 of Boise was arrested on charges of Leaving the Scene of a crash resulting in injury or death, a felony.