Car accidents have become an expectation in Massachusetts and throughout the United States, so much so that there are websites dedicated to nothing more than predicting how many accidents a person will be involved with during their life time. As the name suggest, car accidents always involve a car. Although a majority of car accidents involve another car or some stationary object, a growing number of accidents involve cyclists and the every present pedestrian population. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) there were almost 5,000 pedestrian deaths and over 76,000 injuries in 2012 alone.
In response to the alarming number of pedestrian related accidents occurring in the city, the major of a Massachusetts city is implementing an initiative aimed at curbing the growing problem. The plan, which involves items, such as upgrading crosswalks, reducing plant growth on the sidewalk and increased police patrols, was developed with input for other local governments and the state. In their city alone, there were 75 accidents with seven fatalities, six occurring since August. This is a major contrast to 2012, which saw only one pedestrian fatality. The plan’s education arm will focus on educating the public about the dangers of using electronics, while sitting behind the wheel. There will also be more walking patrols by police.
Pedestrians, like the drivers they share the road with, have many rights and responsibilities while traveling along sidewalks and streets. In Massachusetts, pedestrians have the right of way whenever they are crossing the street in a marked crosswalk. Even passing a pedestrian who is walking in a crosswalk is grounds for a $200 fine.
Motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrian’s all move along the same roadways every day. Keeping everyone safe is a group job, and everyone must do their part in making the roadways a little bit safer.
Source: WCVB, “Brockton mayor unveils pedestrian safety plan following string of accidents,” Joseph Markman, Nov. 16, 2014