Delaware Launches Pedestrian Safety Campaign - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Launches Pedestrian Safety Campaign

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FENWICK ISLAND, Del. -- On one of Delaware's busiest roads jaywalking in the midst of heavy traffic has become far too common a sight.

Now the state's transportation departments are concerned due to an increase in the number of pedestrian deaths so far this year.

The Office of Highway Safety says since January 1 2015, 12 pedestrians have died in traffic accidents. A number higher than what was recorded at this time in 2014 when there were eight pedestrian fatalities.

In response, OHS and the Delaware Department of Transportation are launching a new pedestrian safety campaign called Walk Smart in all three counties to educate the public about safe crossing methods.

Working together with towns, cities and law enforcement, the state plans to visit locations where the rate of pedestrian accidents is high to conduct safety checks and provide safe walking information.

Leslie Kelly has been a regular vacationer in Bethany Beach and Ocean City, Md. since she was a teenager. Kelly says it used to be easier to cross without a crosswalk but now during the summer months, it's just too dangerous.

"I'll cross at a crosswalk," Kelly said, "I know when I was younger I may not have but it wasn't as crowded back then. There wasn't as much traffic."

A nine year old boy was struck by a car after police say he ran against the light at the intersection of Lighthouse Rd. and Coastal Highway June 20.

An eyewitness who works at the Kohr's Ice Cream shop on the northbound corner of Coastal Highway describes how the accident happened.

"He jumped on the middle median and the crosswalk time was at zero," said Brant Scheuemer. "He didn't have time. So he was supposed to stay in the middle median but he thought he could beat traffic."

On June 6, a 19-year old woman from Ukraine was hit by a car on Miller Rd. in Rehoboth as she rode her bicycle. She later died of her injuries.

Eva Rogowuski was cycling on Coastal Highway Wednesday afternoon during rush hour in Bethany Beach. She won't be taking any chances on Rt. 1 this summer.

"I'm just more aware that it's busy and you have to be a little bit more careful," she said.

OHS and DelDot say a string of pedestrian safety educational events are scheduled to happen throughout the state during the summer. The first Walk Smart event will be held in South Bethany Beach on Friday July 3.

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