TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – The Texas Department of Transportation has launched a new pedestrian safety campaign, “Be Safe. Drive Smart.”

The campaign urges drivers and pedestrians to watch out for each other as pedestrian deaths continue to rise.

TxDOT says pedestrians account for 1 in 5 traffic fatalities in the state. In 2021, nearly 6,000 traffic crashes involving pedestrians occurred in Texas, resulting in 841 deaths.

TxDOT’s Atlanta district covers 9 counties from mount pleasant to Texarkana all the way down to Marshall. They say these accidents are also common in our area.

“In 2021, we had 48 crashes involving pedestrians that resulted in 9 pedestrian deaths and 19 serious injuries,” said Heather Deaton, PIO for the Atlanta District. “We just want everyone to go home at the end of the day, so we want drivers to watch out for pedestrians and pedestrians to watch out for drivers.”

Crash reports from law enforcement indicate the leading factors of pedestrian-related traffic crashes include pedestrians failing to yield the right of way to vehicles, driver inattention, motorists failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians, failure to control speed, and drivers and/or pedestrians being under the influence of alcohol.