SHA and OC Urge Pedestrian Safety with 'Walk Smart' - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

SHA and OC Urge Pedestrian Safety with 'Walk Smart'

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"Walk Smart" crab mascot (Photo: OC) "Walk Smart" crab mascot (Photo: OC)

OCEAN CITY, Md.- State and local partners teamed up in Ocean City on Tuesday to promote the annual "Walk Smart" campaign ahead of a busy July 4th weekend to keep pedestrian injuries and deaths down in the resort town.

Justin Walters walks to work in Ocean City every day and said come summer, it can get dangerous along Coastal Highway.

"Oh it's horrible sometimes, with the traffic, it's a lot of traffic in the day time," he said. "It's real hard to get across the street and the crosswalk things take forever to turn."

The Maryland State Highway Administration, along with local officials, are urging pedestrians to pay attention in this campaign, which uses a crab mascot to also remind drivers to share the road.

The campaign runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day because according to SHA, nearly 55,000 cars make their way down the Coastal Highway during the busy summer season.

Sharon Bowlyn works at Royal Farms on the main highway and agreed the reminder to use the crosswalk and follow traffic signals is necessary.

"Tourists, definitely tourists," she said. "They think they can be on vacation and nothing bad's gonna happen and usually that's when something bad does happen."

Sadly, this Spring there was one pedestrian death, the only one since the "Walk Smart" campaign kicked off three years ago, but incidents are still occurring.

OCPD say there were 26 collisions involving pedestrians in 2013, 33 in 2014, and 17 in 2015. So far this year there have been five.

"It's sad that the more people that get injured, the more people wake up," Bowlyn said. "So it's sad that somebody has to get hurt for people to realize that they should think safe."

There has been work done by the SHA to keep pedestrians and drivers safe as well; they repaved nearly 5 miles of the highway this spring, There are also plans to install a dune-style median fence later this year.

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