Via Philly's Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities
This morning 7 clowns stood guard at the corner of 15th and JFK. The clowns were on a mission: to make sure that Philadelphia drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists obeyed traffic laws. The clowns specifically targeted distracted drivers and walkers; drivers not wearing their seat belts; drivers and bicyclists impeding crosswalks; bicyclists on the sidewalk; pedestrians crossing against the light and pedestrians failing to obey no crossing signs at Dilworth Plaza construction site.
This April Fools’ Day celebration was a unique pro-bono partnership with the Pig Iron’s School for Advanced Performance Training, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities and other Philadelphia based thespians and reminded drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to not act like fools any day of the year.
Each year about three dozen pedestrians lose their lives after being struck by cars, trucks and busses. On average, every five hours a pedestrian is sent to the hospital after being hit by a vehicle. Distracted driving and walking, running red lights in cars or on bike, jaywalking and sidewalk bike riding are no laughing matter. Better engineering, stricter enforcement and more engaging education are all parts of the solution to reducing deaths and injuries on our roads.
Philadelphians laughed along with the traffic clowns. However traffic safety is no laughing matter: Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities Rina Cutler noted, “The financial toll of these fatalities and accidents is in the hundreds of millions each year, but the personal toll is incalculable. We need to constantly find ways to engage the public on traffic safety issues, as safety must be our top priority. This April Fools’ Day program is great opportunity to build on the nearly one thousand Drive Right, Ride Right, Walk Right ads being seen on busses, subways and transit shelters across the city this spring.”
If you are interested in watching the clowns in action, check out Newsworks’s video coverage from this morning.