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Seattle Safety Elves Give the Gift of Safety this Holiday Season

Last weekend the city officially launched the fourth annual Center City Holiday Pedestrian Safety Campaign. The campaign is a part of the City’s larger Road Safety Action Plan and Be Super Safe an ongoing effort to reach zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries.

During the winter holiday season, there are more people traveling downtown and fewer daylight hours, so making sure that we’re watching out for each other while driving or walking is especially important. We’ve seen remarkable reductions in pedestrian collisions since the start of the Center City Holiday Pedestrian Safety Campaign four years ago – down on average 34 percent – but even one collision is too many.

Safety Elves in action!

This year the city is taking a fun approach to a serious issue. Throughout December an education team of safety elves are visiting the streets of downtown reminding visitors, employees and residents to be super safe. Continuing the combined education and enforcement approach to road safety, the Seattle Police Department is also conducting downtown safety emphasis patrols starting December 4 and going through mid-January. The focus of these efforts is on the behaviors most common to collisions in Seattle – distraction, impairment, speed, and failure to yield to pedestrians.Within the Center City, one of the biggest causes of collisions involving pedestrians is motorists not stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks, or when attempting to make left or right turns as pedestrians are crossing. The safety elves and the Police Department will remind drivers and pedestrians alike to “drive with care and walk aware.”

Pedestrians received safety postcards from the Safety Elves.

Our Safety Elves have a few tips for motorists and pedestrians to make sure you arrive at your destination safely and enjoy your downtown visit.

Red’s favorite holiday past-time is watching people obey stop signs and red lights and slow down on yellow. Red always stops for pedestrians because it’s the law in Washington State and never passes a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk. He always assumes they are stopped for a pedestrian.

Jingle loves music, so much so that all she does is sing. Jingle gets sad though when people fidget with their ipods, radio tuner or cellphones while driving.  Leave the knobs alone, and sing your own tune!  (And you can hear her special safety jingle here!)

Buttons always waits for the pedestrian signal to change before crossing a busy street and never crosses once the countdown begins. Buttons also loves making sure her bike is all buttoned up and ready for winter weather – Tire pressure: Check! Patch kit? Check! Lights? Check! Helmet? Check!

Jolly loves eggnog and other holiday drinks, but becomes less then jolly when people drink and drive. Don’t get Jolly upset; be safe, be responsible and have a designated driver.