Pace yourself, Mt. Lebanon

Mt. Lebanon has always taken pedestrian and driver safety seriously. The American Automobile Association has honored the police department annually with its highest traffic safety award for going on 20 years. With traffic volumes as high as 20,000 vehicles per day in some parts of town, that’s quite an achievement.

However, a recent spike in vehicle-pedestrian crashes in the first quarter of the year has prompted a campaign to reiterate the rules on staying safe. In 2021, the department investigated seven vehicle-pedestrian crashes. In 2022, the number of incidents rose to 10, and that number increased slightly in 2023, with 12 crashes. As of March 15 of this year, the department investigated five driver-pedestrian crashes—three in the span of two weeks.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving—texting, talking on the phone or with passengers in the car, checking the vehicle’s navigation system—accounted for 3,552 deaths and 362,415 injuries in 2021. NHTSA defines distracted driving as “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.”

If you’re driving 55 mph and you take your eyes off the road for five seconds, it’s like driving the length of a football field blindfolded.

While harder to quantify, aggressive driving can also be a contributing factor to crashes. Frustration with traffic delays, road construction and long lines of parents dropping off or picking up their kids from school can fray tempers.

With this in mind, Mt. Lebanon is launching a new campaign aimed at promoting safety for everyone: PACE Yourselves, Lebo. PACE: Pedestrian, Automobile, Cyclist, Everyone.

“The end game is just to get to your destination safely,” said Mt. Lebanon Police Chief Jason Haberman. Haberman is appreciative of the community effort that has contributed to the department’s good safety record, but believes we can do better.

In 2022, the Mt. Lebanon Commission adopted a Complete Streets policy, in accordance with guidelines from Smart Growth America, a nonprofit urban development organization. The vision of complete streets is a share-the-road concept, giving equal weight to all road users.

Features of a complete street include bike lanes, curb ramps, planters, signage, street furniture, green infrastructure, high visibility crosswalks, shorter crossing distances, audible signals and safe walking routes.

Becki Campanaro is president of Mt. Lebanon School District’s Council PTA. She says there have been incidents of careless driving at all 10 Mt. Lebanon schools. Each school has a clearly marked “go zone” reserved for pickup and dropoff of students, with instructions to pull up as far as possible in the zone, so other parents don’t have to pull around your vehicle, and to make sure your child exits the vehicle curbside, not streetside.

“It could be that drivers are unaware of the rules because they don’t have kids in the schools and don’t know about the go zones,” Campanaro said. The district gets the word out to parents through newsletters at the beginning of the school year, “but we can always use a refresher,” she added.

Campanaro says the PTA and the district have always had a good relationship with the police department, but she would like to see increased enforcement around the go zones.

“I would rather see drivers get tickets than see a kid get hurt.”

Lt. Scott Green, head of the Mt. Lebanon Police Department’s traffic unit, says enforcement is part of the department’s approach, but not the sole component.

“The overall safety of everyone is paramount to the department. We use a three-tiered approach to prevent and correct safety concerns pertaining to motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. By combining information, education and enforcement, we can create a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone using our roadways.”

As part of the campaign, Green has a list of reminders for people who fall into one of the following categories, which is, of course, everyone.


Look left, right, then left again before crossing.

Stay on the sidewalk. If there’s no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.

Cross at marked crosswalks or at intersections; if a crosswalk is not available, find a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic and cross at a 90-degree angle to the roadway.

Remain on the curb while waiting to cross and stand clear of obstructions, such as parked cars, so drivers can see you.

Make eye contact with drivers so they see you and know your intentions.

Don’t wear headphones or talk on phone while crossing.

Be aware of buses that may be in designated lanes.

Assume traffic is flowing both directions, even on one-way streets.

Watch for vehicles entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots. Remain alert for vehicles, including bicycles, that may be passing a stopped vehicle.

If walking at night, wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight. Always cross at well-lit areas.


Don’t text, email or talk on a cell phone.

Keep your eyes on the road and don’t be distracted by eating, smoking, grooming, adjusting the radio, reading or writing.

Look out for pedestrians everywhere, and at all times. Make eye contact with others on the road so they know your intentions.

Never pass a stopped vehicle at a crosswalk.

Share the road with bicyclists and pedestrians and be especially vigilant at crosswalks and intersections.

Avoid aggressive driving and unsafe maneuvering.

Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.

Reduce speed and be extra alert while in active work zones or school zones.

Never drive impaired, whether it be alcohol or prescription drugs.

Always wear a seatbelt; properly restrain children in a car or booster seat.


Prepare your commute the night before. Check the weather and make appropriate adjustments in clothing and equipment.

Ride on the street. It’s safer, especially in business areas.

Follow the same rules of the roadway as motorists.

Yield right of way to pedestrians and give an audible signal before passing them.

Share the lane when you’re moving slower than traffic and can safely ride to the right. When riding at night, use a headlight and rear reflector or flashing red light that’s visible from 500 feet. Both are required by law.

Ride with the flow of traffic.

Be alert to parked vehicles opening doors; allow three or four feet next to parked vehicles where doors can swing open.

If the roads are wet, pay particular attention to metal surfaces, painted traffic markings, wet leaves, and oil slicks as all are especially slippery.

At intersections, remember drivers don’t always signal, especially on right turns.


Always allow extra time to reach your destination, eliminating the need to rush.

Listen to the Inside Lebo podcast with Police Chief Jason Haberman to learn more about the program.