SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- We do not have the 2022 annual report left with almost three months left to go this year but in 2021 there were eight fewer crashes compared to 2020. However, the number of fatal crashes involving pedestrians is on pace to increase compared to last year.
Just days after a city-wide event promoting pedestrian awareness, Springfield Police responded to another fatal wreck.
As Cris Swaters from the Springfield Police Department explains, “An accident involving a pedestrian could happen on any roadway”.
Compared to last year’s numbers, it is on pace to exceed last year’s total of deadly pedestrian crashes.
“In 2021, we saw seven pedestrian fatalities and that was from January to December. So, this year in 2022, we are just looking at January to today, we have seen six” says Swaters.
Springfield Public Works is behind that awareness campaign saying pedestrians killed on roadways are not just trending up locally.
“Across the nations, we’re seeing increases in pedestrian crashes, that pedestrian fatality crashes that are unprecedented. Over the last ten years, pedestrian fatalities across the nation have increased by 46%, while all other traffic fatalities have only increased by 5%,” said Mandy Buettgen-Quinn of Springfield Public Works.
She says their studies in 2021 have shown half of the crashes occur when the pedestrian does nothing wrong.
Buettgen-Quinn explains, “They were crossing in a crosswalk when they should. And the other half of the time, we find that drivers are hitting pedestrians that were crossing.”
Not whether should mid-block or other locations where they were not expected to be in the roadway. Public works say they are continuing to take steps to create awareness.
“We’ve been enhancing crosswalks. We’ve been adding crosswalks when needed, but we also we’ve also been beefing up crosswalks by adding rectangular, rapid flashing beacons,” said Buettgen-Quinn.
Police say fewer distractions while walking and driving can help lead to safer roadways.