Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

December 20, 2022
Contact: Beth Cefalu, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


NEW CITY, NY, - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert urge residents to walk safely when out shopping, exercising, or using the roadway network this holiday season to avoid injuries.

Most people take walking for granted, but you're more likely to sustain an injury if you're distracted or in a hurry. Be alert! Never use your cell phone or earbuds while walking near traffic or crossing the road, and always make eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you.

"Less daylight, specifically during early morning and rush hour times, means that pedestrians are at a higher risk of being injured or killed by a driver as visibility is reduced. Whether walking to the bus stop, in the parking lot from your car to the store or crossing the road, you need to be aware of your surroundings and potential dangers. There are rules of the road that everyone needs to follow when walking to avoid getting injured by a motor vehicle," said Dr. Ruppert.

Injuries to pedestrians are among the top 10 leading causes of injury-related hospital admissions and death for almost all age groups In New York State. Approximately 300 pedestrians are killed, 15,000 are injured by motor vehicles each year on the state's roadways, and more than 3,000 pedestrians are admitted to the hospital annually.

Follow these rules to help you maintain your safety on the roads:

  • Use the sidewalk for walking if there is one.
  • If no sidewalk is available, and you must walk on the road – walk facing the oncoming traffic.
  • Wear brightly colored clothing so drivers can easily see you.
  • If you are walking after dark, walk with a flashlight and/or have some reflective gear on, like reflective laces for your shoes or a vest so you can be seen.
  • Do not run across a road. Look left, right, then left again before crossing the road.
  • Be aware of traffic; do not be distracted by cell phones or other electronics.
  • Be aware of cars in driveways that may be backing out.
  • Cross at a corner, not mid-block.
  • Wait for a "walk" symbol on main streets where there are pedestrian crosswalk lights.

The Health Department is working with the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee to educate the Rockland County community on important traffic safety measures pedestrians and drivers should take. Rockland County was identified as one of the top 20 counties for pedestrian-related crashes in the 2016 New York State (NYS) Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. Both pedestrians and drivers were found to be in violation of NYS Vehicle and Traffic Laws.

"Make safety a priority this holiday season. Whether you are driving, taking the bus, or walking, we are all pedestrians at some point during the day. Follow the rules of the road and share the road safely," said County Executive Ed Day.

For more information about pedestrian safety, visit and