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Reducing pedestrian injuries and fatalities the focus during Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Week
October 27, 2022
High-visibility safety campaign to take place in several Michigan counties October 29 to November 4
Overtime mobilization grants have been awarded to law enforcement agencies in several Michigan counties to address a rise in pedestrian injuries and fatalities on the state’s roadways. Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Week will take place from October 29 to November 4 as a wrap-up to National Pedestrian Safety Month. In Michigan during 2021, there was a 4.6 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities from 2020 and a 5.2 percent rise in pedestrian-involved fatal crashes.
The Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) has identified the counties of Berrien, Ingham, Kalamazoo, Macomb, Oakland and Wayne as having some of the highest number of pedestrian-involved crashes over a five-year period. From 2017 to 2021, pedestrian crash data for the six counties show Wayne with 818 pedestrian-involved fatal or suspected serious injury crashes, Oakland with 269, Macomb with 181, Kalamazoo with 103, Ingham with 90 and Berrien with 44.
“When it comes to vehicle/pedestrian crashes, the pedestrian always loses—they remain Michigan’s most vulnerable roadway users,” said Katie Bower, OHSP director. “This enforcement period aims to educate community members about the importance of pedestrian safety and the traffic laws designed to protect them.”
Last year in Michigan, there were 183 pedestrian fatalities and 1,453 pedestrian injuries. Of those 183 pedestrian deaths, 122 (66.7 percent) were male and 61 (33.3 percent) were female. Over the last five years combined, more pedestrians have been killed in October than any other month. October also has the most pedestrian-involved crashes for the same five-year period.
Officers will focus on the laws applicable to all aspects of pedestrian safety, including drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk at a signalized intersection and fail to stop at a signal or stop sign before a crosswalk. Officers will also be looking for violations by pedestrians that include not walking on a sidewalk where provided and not walking facing traffic when on a roadway. The participating law enforcement agencies are the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, Chikaming Township Police Department, Detroit Police Department, Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, Lansing Police Department, Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and St. Joseph Department of Public Safety.
The enforcement campaign is supported with federal traffic safety funds provided by the United States Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and coordinated by the OHSP.