– Mayor Michael B. Hancock, joined by transportation, safety and school officials, today launched a citywide public safety awareness campaign to educate those who live, work and play in Denver about how to increase safety while in transit.
The campaign, called “Heads Up.,” will work to create a culture that embraces multimodal transportation by encouraging each and every person in the city to take responsibility for their actions while walking, biking or driving in Denver.
“Denver is a growing, multimodal city. So we must bolster our city enforcement, education and engineering to make it a safer city; one that will support our families and children in every neighborhood,” Mayor Hancock said. “Government cannot do this alone. It’s incumbent upon all of us to keep our heads up and take personal responsibility for ensuring not only our own safety, but the safety of those around us. This is how we will foster that safe, active culture that we all love so much about our Mile High City.”
In the first quarter of 2013, there were 117 auto/pedestrian accidents, with six resulting in pedestrian fatalities. That is 37 percent more than occurred in the first quarter of 2012. The city has recently seen an increase in bicycle/auto accidents too. In 2011, there were 239 auto/bike accidents across Denver that resulted in injuries or death. In 2012, that number rose to 265.
The City and County of Denver takes a three-pronged approach to improving public safety while in transit: enforcement, education and engineering.
Moving forward, Denver safety officials will increase warnings and tickets to those breaking laws while walking, biking, or driving. Public Works is actively adopting innovative engineering strategies citywide to help users of all modes follow the law. The city’s educational outreach has begun, in collaboration with city partners like Denver Public Schools, the Regional Transportation District, BikeDenver and Denver Bike Sharing, with the shared goal of educating people about the simple steps necessary to make our streets safer.
Thanks to corporate and community sponsors, billboards, handouts, posters, radio and television public service announcements, as well as safety officials and biking ambassadors, will work in tandem to educate the public on easy safety tips. The “Heads Up.” campaign sponsors include AAA Colorado, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, BikeDenver, CBS Outdoor and the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association.
Billboards began to be unveiled last week reminding drivers, “Heads Up. Bikes and pedestrians are hard to see.” Fourteen billboards will be visible throughout metro Denver this summer. The “Heads Up.” campaign was developed by Denver-based Sukle Advertising for the city on a pro bono basis.
The first billboards will be visible the beginning of May at the corners of:
- E. Colfax and York St.
- S. Monaco and Leetsdale
- W. Colfax and I-25
- S. Colorado and I-25
- S. Broadway and Evans
“The city’s approach to increasing safety will only work if we have a community that will work with us to utilize the tools and laws we have in place to keep them safe,” Police Chief White said. “We will work every day with our residents to prevent accidents and help them stay safe. When it comes to the interaction of modes of transportation, we all must take personal responsibility in our actions. That includes those who recently have chosen to run from the scene of crime.”