Officials hope new campaign will help protect bicyclists and pedestrians on the road

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Be alert is the message from Fresno Police and the local Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee. The two teamed up Thursday to launch a road safety campaign to help protect bicyclists and pedestrians.

Drivers, bikers, and pedestrians can expect to see this message on buses and billboards.

The Fresno Police Department and the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee launched their "it's up to all of us" campaign to raise awareness of safe behaviors on the road.

"We can't just educate pedestrians, we have to educate drivers to be on the look out, to be alert, for these people who dart out and not use the crosswalk," said Mark Van Wyhe, Fresno.

Van Wyhe said there have already been 15 fatalities this year, six being pedestrians.

Van Wyhe also said he's seen this problem first hand when he was working the Donovan Maldonado case where a 7-year-old boy on his bike was hit and killed.

"It's sad to see any life lost, especially one of a child. When it comes to a child it's heartbreaking."

The Community Regional Medical Center also said they see these accidents come into their emergency room too often.

"They come in with serious injuries, head injuries, facial injuries, these are all injuries that are devastating," said Eliana Torncale, Community Regional Medical Center.

The campaign focusing on speed, distracted driving and walking, and crosswalk safety.

Detective Van Wyhe said he hopes the message gets across.

"Ultimately, I'd like to see the fatal's go away."

And reminds drivers, bikers, and walkers to stay alert.

The campaign is also part of the "walksmartca" education campaign.

One of the most critical changes urged by the campaign is for drivers to simply slow down.
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