Monday, June 11, 2018

After 98 Missouri Pedestrians Died in 2017, MoDOT Focuses on Safer Streets

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 7:25 AM

click to enlarge FLICKR/PAUL SABLEMAN
In 2017, more than half of the 98 pedestrian deaths and 264 serious injuries in Missouri were in the St. Louis area.

Now, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is looking to put pedestrian safety front and center during a weeklong campaign from June 11 to 18. The campaign’s purpose is to educate both those on their feet and behind the wheel on ways to be alert and what to look out for to ensure safety.

Mary Elliott, communications manager for the Missouri Department of Transportation's St. Louis region, says the campaign will give MoDOT a way to work on pedestrian safety, while also spreading word about its importance through community partners.

“The campaign gives our organization the opportunity to focus on pedestrian safety,” she says. “We want everyone to be as safe as possible.”

Pedestrian fatalities are a long-standing problem in the area. Six years ago, St. Louis was named a pedestrian focus city by the Federal Highway Administration due to our high pedestrian fatality rates.

But some recent high-profile incidents show that the problem has continued.
In December, a hit-and-run on North Grand Boulevard led to the death of 39-year-old Jameca Stanfield. Her sister, Tiffanie Stanfield, started a new registered non-profit, Fighting Hit and Run Driving, to raise awareness about the problem and lend support to its victims. In November 2016, David Grelle broke 22 bones and lacerated his liver because a car hit him on the corner of Connecticut and Grand, and then sped away. Despite intense lobbying from Grelle's friends and families, the young woman who hit him and then fled the scene was given only probation.

MoDOT has been working to make the streets safer for pedestrians, including easier-to-see striping, signalized intersections and warnings for drivers of upcoming crosswalks on Gravois Avenue. According to MoDOT, more warning systems are also being placed along parts of Route 100 and Route D.

Some of the agency's tips include: avoid walking with headphones in, cross only at an intersection or crosswalk, and for drivers, be careful when leaving parking lots.

For more recommendations on pedestrian safety, visit the campaign’s website.

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