SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The City of Springfield is asking both drivers and pedestrians to be more aware after five pedestrians have been hit by cars in the past two weeks.
Officials said they are concerned with the number of pedestrian-involved crashes they’ve already seen this year.
“First quarter of this year, our driver compliance is at 43 percent, on average, at Springfield crosswalks,” said Kristen Milam, City of Springfield Communication Coordinator.
Milam said more education for drivers and pedestrians is necessary.
“We’re studying a lot of these crosswalk locations and places where we might need more,” said Milam. “Our crash studies have shown that it’s kind of 50/50 responsibility-wise.”
In recent weeks, reports show most of the pedestrians hit were on medians or sidewalks.
David Gilliam, who was previously homeless, said he was hit by a car about a year ago in Springfield when riding his bike in the bike lane.
“I was downtown and the same thing, the guy came up from behind me while I was on my bike,” said Gilliam. “It messed up my arm and got infected. I ended up going to the hospital.”
Gilliam said he, and others he knows, have experienced being hit by a car. He said it’s hard to move on.
“You’re trying to look in front of you and watch what you’re doing, but you got to look behind you too because you got to watch out for everybody else,” said Gilliam. “We do a lot of on the bus now just because of that.”
The Connecting Grounds Church Pastor, Christie Love, said they work to educate the homeless population they help, as well as drivers, about what to do when getting around town.
“We try to give out bus passes any time we can,” said Love. “We talk a lot about please make sure that you’re looking both ways before you cross the street, please make sure that you’re wearing colors that are more visible.”
“I think for us who have the privilege of a motor vehicle, we have the privilege of that extra layer of protection, it falls on us to be extra vigilant,” Love said.
City leaders said on average, there are 60 to 70 pedestrian-involved crashes a year.