People walk along Orca Road in the late-night sun in June 2023. Photo by Kinsey Brown for The Cordova Times

With diminished sunlight as winter nears, the state of Alaska has declared October as Pedestrian Safety Month in an effort to decrease the number of pedestrians killed on the state’s roads. 

“We need to drive these crashes to zero by working together,” said Ryan Anderson, commissioner of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF). 

Thirteen pedestrians were killed in 2022 and 11 others in collisions with vehicles in 2023. 

Motorists are reminded to remain vigilant when driving in dark and low-light conditions. Pedestrians are urged to wear reflective or high-visible clothing during low-light hours and use established crossings whenever possible. 

According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, a national nonprofit representing state and territorial highway safety offices, pedestrian fatalities in the United States continue to be on an upward trend, with an estimated 7,500 pedestrians killed nationwide in 2022.