SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – With two pedestrians being hit in less than a week, OzarksFirst looked into how many fatalities Springfield has seen in the past few years.
So far this year, three people have died from being hit by cars. In 2022, there were eight people hit and killed.
To combat pedestrian fatalities, the city created a program called SGF Yields that has been active for a few years.
“We’re quite happy with our program,” said Springfield traffic specialist Mandy Buettgen-Quinn. “We’ve gotten a lot of national attention because we have been able to double the amount of drivers that stop at crosswalks for pedestrians.”
“We’ve had an intensive effort over the last four or five years working with public works and traffic engineering and creating a safer pedestrian environment,” Chief of Police Paul Williams said. “I think we’ve made great strides in that.”
Even though pedestrian fatalities are up all across the country, Springfield has been able to level out those numbers. However, there is still work to be done.
“Infrastructure was built for cars and so we are playing catch up to try to place a safe crosswalk wherever they’re needed,” said Buettgen-Quinn.
Chief Williams says pedestrians need to start looking for those crosswalks instead of crossing where it’s closer to their destination.
“So not wanting to walk an extra block to get to a crosswalk, not waiting for the signal to change… I don’t understand that,” Williams said. “It’s unfortunate. Thankfully, you know, more people don’t get struck because drivers do pay attention.”
Williams says if there are areas that could use more safety signals Springfieldians should let the city know.
“You know, people have no regard for their safety,” Williams said. “It’s hard for us to protect them from themselves.”