Deadly Pedestrian Accidents on Rise as State Starts Safety Initi - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Deadly Pedestrian Accidents on Rise as State Starts Safety Initiatives

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DELAWARE - According to numbers acquired by WBOC from the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, deadly pedestrian accidents are on the rise in the First State, despite a decrease in total pedestrian accidents. These findings come as Delaware State Police partner with local departments in promoting walking safety. 

Up to this date, there have been 263 total pedestrian accidents statewide, a decrease from 283 at this point last year. Meanwhile, the deadly pedestrian accidents have spiked to 29 this year, compared to just 18 in 2014. 

State police started a "High Visibility Education and Enforcement" initiative on Tuesday, in an effort to decrease these numbers moving forward. The agency is partnering with OHS, The Department of Transportation, and officers from local departments to try and increase awareness. This project is part of a pilot program initiated by the International Association of Police Chiefs and is funded by OHS. 

Delaware State Police will conduct two weeks of education and outreach followed by one week of enforcement patrols, citing everyone violating pedestrian safety laws. Officers will provide pedestrians with literature that includes safe walking tips and a small flashlight to increase pedestrians’ visibility in low-light or dark conditions. 

Police offer the following safety tips to avoid an accident: 

- Only cross in crosswalks or at intersections with traffic signals.

- If walking at night, carry a flashlight or wear reflective clothing.

- Use sidewalks whenever possible. 

- Be patient – wait for cars to stop before stepping into the roadway.

- Do not walk under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

- When driving, be a smart defensive driver and obey the posted speeds, be watchful, attentive and never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

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