October 14, 2020
Overtime enforcement mobilization grants have been awarded to law enforcement agencies in 12 Michigan communities starting October 15 and running through October 21. Those communities are Dearborn, Detroit, Farmington Hills, Flint, Flint Township, Hamtramck, Kalamazoo, Macomb Township, Pontiac, Southfield, Sterling Heights, and Warren. The grants will focus on the laws applicable to pedestrian safety to help reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities. The Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) has identified these areas as having some of the highest number of fatal and serious injury pedestrian crashes over a five-year period.
“We’re hoping this enforcement period, during national pedestrian safety month, will help save the lives of Michigan’s most vulnerable roadway users - pedestrians,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “When driving, put your phone down, focus on the road, and expect to see people walking and using mobility aids.”
Pedestrian crash data for the 12 Michigan communities from 2015-2019 shows: Detroit with 517 pedestrian-involved fatal or serious injury crashes; Flint with 55; Warren with 55; Kalamazoo with 53; Pontiac with 42; Dearborn with 33; Southfield with 30; Sterling Heights with 22; Farmington Hills with 18; Flint Township with 18; Hamtramck with 16; and Macomb Township with 8.
Officers during this campaign will be on the lookout for violations by drivers that include: illegal turns, failing to stop at a signal or stop sign before a crosswalk, failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk at a signalized intersection, and blocking a roadway that interferes with the normal flow of traffic. Officers will also be looking for violations by pedestrians that include: not following traffic control signals, not walking on a sidewalk where provided, and not walking facing traffic when on a roadway.
In Michigan, on average, about 150 pedestrians die each year. More pedestrians have been killed in October of the last five years combined than any other month. The most pedestrian-involved crashes have happened in October of the last five years combined as well.
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.