HARTFORD, Conn. — On this edition of Live. Work. Play. Rachel Lutzker talks with Michael Whaley, Office of Highway Safety from the CT Department of Transportation and Amy Watkins, Pedestrian Safety Coordinator from Watch for Me CT, about the importance of Pedestrian Safety.
While pedestrian safety is always an important issue, the rise of pedestrian deaths both in CT and across the Country has been alarming. In the past year, 22 states have seen a significant increase in pedestrian fatalities of individuals over 65, which includes Connecticut. We are working to bring awareness to this issue so that we can change behavior and save lives.
Did you know 41% of pedestrian crashes occur in or in relation to an intersection. Crashes involving pedestrians are most likely to occur between 6pm to 8pm (29%), Thursdays and Fridays (36%) and in December and January (25%).
The Top towns for fatal pedestrian crashes in Connecticut include Bridgeport, Hartford, Waterbury, New Haven and Danbury.
A higher proportion of fatalities among 50+ pedestrian are hit and run crashes.
Here's what you can do as a driver do to protect pedestrians?
• Be Safe. Obey all speed limits: A pedestrian hit by a car going 40 mph has an 85% chance of being killed. At 20 mph the risk is reduced to 5%. Come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights. Avoid distracted driving, aggressive driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
• Be Aware. Signal your turns and look both ways before changing lanes, turning, and at driveways. Expect the unexpected around curves and over hills where visibility ahead is limited.
• Always watch for Pedestrians. Yield to pedestrians at an intersection. Every intersection is a crosswalk, even if it’s not marked. Do not stop in a crosswalk. Be patient: Give pedestrians (especially older pedestrians) plenty of time to cross the street. Do not pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk in the event there is a pedestrian crossing that you cannot see. Stop and proceed when all pedestrians have crossed the street. Do not drive on a sidewalk, except to cross it to enter or exit a driveway or alley. When crossing, yield to all pedestrians.
New legislation has passed that will aid in our effort to keep pedestrians safe and will go into effect on October 1, 2021. The new act concerning pedestrian’s safety require motorists to (1) grant the right-of-way to pedestrians who affirmatively indicate their intention to cross the road in a crosswalk. Additional provisions of the act include: (2) increase the fine for operating a motor vehicle while using a hand-held mobile telephone or electronic device; (3) increase the additional fee provided to municipalities for certain traffic violations; (4) establish a fine for opening the door of a motor vehicle in a way that impedes the travel of a pedestrian or a person riding a bicycle; (5) allow local traffic authorities to establish speed limits and pedestrian safety zones; and (6) establish the greenways commemorative account.
To Learn More, visit watchformect.org
This segment of Live. Work. Play. is sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Transportation.