Every year, a pedestrian in the Towson area is killed by a motor vehicle accident.* This spring, the TUPD is teaming up with the Baltimore County Police Department (BCPD) and the Maryland Highway Safety Office (MHSO) to combat the deadly trend.
The effort kicked off in January with the launch of a 1-minute video offering students, faculty and staff tips on walking safely on campus. The video, which will be played on campus digital signs and shown at halftime during TU sporting events, focuses on preventing distracted walking—a common factor in pedestrian-involved accidents.
“Pedestrians are often distracted by their smart phones. They wear head phones, or they talk with friends as they step directly into traffic without looking,” TUPD Captain Karen Johnson said. “Officers have also observed motorists who are distracted, exceeding speed limits and not mindful of pedestrians. This campaign aims to increase safety awareness among both these groups to not only help reduce the number of accidents, but also prevent some of the many near-misses we see everyday.”
In addition to the Walk Safe video, signs are being placed near crosswalks to remind pedestrians to look out for cars, and TUPD officers are canvassing common pedestrian routes to share safety tips and information. Officers are also incorporating pedestrian safety into presentations given to student groups and new hires. The information shared incorporates tips and data from Baltimore County’s “Walk Safe” campaign and the state’s “Toward Zero Deaths” effort.
*5 year crash data (2008-2012)
Written by Tyler New; photo by Kanji Takeno