Pedestrians doing their holiday shopping on the city streets of Boston should use extra caution this holiday season. Boston pedestrian accidents are a concern every day, but especially this time of year when the numbers of cars and people increases with holiday shopping.
Boston Public Health Commission reports that on any given day, there are over 2 million residents, workers and visitor pedestrians in Boston. This equates to a tremendous amount of foot traffic.
The BPHC discovered a few interesting facts:
-Pedestrians jaywalk 1/3 of the time.
-88% of the time pedestrians don’t wait for the ‘walk’ signal.
-Only 5% of drivers don’t yield to pedestrians when they have the right of way.
-When pedestrians cross against a light only 50% of the time drivers will yield to them. Few drivers slow down for jaywalkers.
The 2009 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report confirms that Massachusetts pedestrian fatalities were significantly lower in 2009 at 48 than the previous 4 years where the recorded fatalities ranged between 61-76.
What may have caused this decrease? In 2008, Pedestrian fatalities matched a 5 year high of 76. As a result, Massachusetts police needed to beef up patrols to enforce pedestrian (and bicycle) traffic laws. They needed money in order to do this so a grant was applied for and awarded. Almost $100,000 in grants were given to police departments throughout Massachusetts.
This money allows for overtime to be paid to extra officers to enforce pedestrian (and bicycle) safety. This money is adding more police presence to the streets to issue tickets to violators and to educate the public. The effort has worked, only two counties had an increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2009.
Some helpful tips to be safer when walking busy city streets:
-Check in all directions multiple times before crossing, and keep checking until you are safely across.
-Pay attention, don’t be on a cell phone and take the earphones off.
-Always obey the traffic signs and signals.
-When waiting to cross don’t stand behind parked cars or other stationary objects.
-Make eye contact with the driver; never assume a vehicle will stop.
-When possible use crosswalks and intersections to cross the street.
If you or someone you know have been involved in an pedestrian accident, contact Boston Accident Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free consultation. Call toll free at 877-617-5333.