Del. Officials Stress Traffic Safety After Week of Deadly Crashe - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Officials Stress Traffic Safety After Week of Deadly Crashes

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DOVER, Del.– The Delaware Office of Highway Safety is stressing the importance of traffic safety after a deadly week on the state's roadways.

OHS officials said that between July 1 and July 6, there were 347 crashes across the state that resulted in four fatalities and 113 injuries. Those killed included one motorcyclist and three other drivers. Officials said several enforcement campaigns are in effect to address speeding, impaired driving, motorcycle safety, pedestrian safety and seat belt use; most of which were a factor in the crashes last week. Last week a total of 86 drivers were arrested for driving under the influence in Delaware. To date over 2,000 DUI arrests have been made since Jan. 1, 2014.

Motorcycle safety continues to be a major concern for officials, who said there have been 13 motorcycle fatalities this year compared to eight at this time last year. Helmet use among motorcyclists has declined, officials noted. They said of those killed, this year only 23 percent were wearing a helmet compared to 75 percent last year. Delaware law does not require a rider to wear a helmet, but does require a helmet to be on the motorcycle.

Officials said Delaware also continues the pedestrian safety campaign in Sussex and New Castle counties, urging pedestrians to use crosswalks, sidewalks, and to be visible to motorists in low light or dark conditions. Officers will be patrolling high pedestrian crash locations and stopping pedestrians who are not walking or crossing safely. Officers will provide the pedestrians with an educational flyer with safe walking tips included. They will also answer any questions about the pedestrian safety law. There have been 150 pedestrian-involved crashes this year, resulting in 129 pedestrians injured and nine pedestrians killed, officials said. The majority of these involved pedestrian error, such as stepping into the path of a vehicle or not crossing in a crosswalk or marked intersection.

Speed has also been a factor in many of the crashes this year, according to the OHS. Officials noted that when speeding is coupled with impaired driving, distracted driving, disregarding traffic signals, or other traffic offenses, crashes are more likely to end in fatalities. The OHS speed campaign is implementing new education and outreach tactics to get motorists to Slow Down and Arrive Alive. These including working with businesses across the state to place large life-sized signs in high profile locations, posting reminders on social media, and making answers to frequently asked questions available through social media as well.
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