August 01, 2003

Black Stars on Bogotá Streets

While Bogotá’s pedestrian death rate has dropped in recent years ­ 179 pedestrians died in car crashes last year compared to 184 the previous year ­ pedestrians are at the greatest risk. Currently, 61% of deaths caused by automobile crashes in Bogotá are pedestrians.

The stars campaign, organized by the Mayor’s Office and the Road Prevention Fund [Fondo de Prevención Vial] will last three months and includes workshops and a pedestrian school designed to teach basic safety to pedestrians. Civic guides ­ volunteers and city employees ­ will be available at the 40 most dangerous intersections to educate people about safe behavior. At the end of the campaign, an award will be given to a “star citizen” who has demonstrated the safety principles taught at the workshops.

While drawing attention to the dangers posed at key intersections may help reduce pedestrian death numbers, safe intersection redesign and better traffic enforcement would be more effective.

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