For Immediate ReleasePress Contact: Mary Kusmiss, S-6, Berkeley Police Department, (510) 981-5780
MARCH IS PEDESTRIAN SAFETY MONTH IN BERKELEY
Berkeley, California (Thursday, March 03, 2011) - The City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) and the City of Berkeley Fire Department (BFD) will be focusing on pedestrian safety this month to honor the memory of Zachary Cruz. Two years ago, on February 27, 2009 when Zachary was five years old, he tragically lost his life while crossing the street at the intersection of Warring and Derby Streets.
As part of this March effort, officers will be concentrating on violations that put pedestrians at risk. Topping the list of dangerous driving behaviors are speeding, cell phone use and pedestrian right-of-way violations. BPD will also take this opportunity to provide additional training to its officers on spotting all types of problematic driving habits.
BPD Traffic Bureau Lieutenant Diane Delaney said, “The Berkeley Police Department is strongly committed to making our streets safer for our community.” She added, “This pedestrian safety month is a great reminder that the work we do to educate people about the need to drive safely saves lives.”
Zachary’s father, Frank Cruz said, “No family should ever lose a loved one in a preventable accident the way my wife and I lost our son Zachary two years ago. That's why the Zachary Cruz Pedestrian Safety Month, and our work with the Berkeley Police Department, is so important: because I believe that through these efforts we can not only honor Zachary's memory, but we can also make the City of Berkeley a safer place. To know that my son's name lives on as part of a project that safeguards others is truly an honor to his memory.”
In addition to increased traffic enforcement, police and fire vehicles will don purple ribbons, and hand out pamphlets that draw attention to the problem of dangerous driving. Specialized enforcement projects are scheduled to take place in the area of local schools where children can be especially at risk.
This pedestrian safety month has been made possible through a collaborative effort between the Cruz family, BPD, BFD and the City of Berkeley. Much of the funding for this event was provided through a donation by the Zachary Michael Cruz Foundation: http://www.zmcfoundation.org.