Protect elderly pedestrians


Re the May 21 article South Florida deadly for pedestrians: Walking is a vital part of an older adult’s life, but sensory, physical and cognitive changes that occur with age increase the risks for older pedestrians.

The Florida Department of Transportation supports the Alliance for Aging’s “Safe Steps-Pasos Seguros” elder pedestrian safety-education program, which provides workshops in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole.

The Alliance is also reaching out to policymakers to recommend several key strategies proven to enhance pedestrian safety at high-risk intersections: Increase the length of crosswalk signals from 20 seconds to 30 seconds; reduce speed limits, limit right turns on red; and enhance crosswalk markings to make them more visible to drivers.

These efforts are having an impact on the elder pedestrian crash rate, but more must be done.

Marsha Jenakovich, director, Planning & Special Projects, Alliance for Aging, Inc., Miami

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