Safety campaign targets drivers, pedestrians

Cities all over Maryland are partnering with the state Department of Transportation to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths in clashes with automobiles on the streets and highways.

Look Up, Look Out Campaign

The campaign, known as "Look Up, Look Out," has a fund of $500,000 earmarked to spread the message that simple things like getting your face out of your phone while driving or walking and using crosswalks can save lives. The Highway Department's deputy administrator said, "we're finding . . . that 65 percent of those pedestrian fatalities are not in the crosswalk."

The campaign is placing safety tips on social media, municipal networks and on flyers. Police departments are cracking down on scofflaws both on foot and behind the wheel, ticketing those who jaywalk and don't yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.

In 2014, 101 pedestrians died in accidents. a number that is way too high for complacency among state officials.

Maryland Governor Aims For No Highway Fatalities

This campaign is one phase of Gov. Hogan's effort to bolster the infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, with aim to have no highway fatalities.

While everyone must take personal responsibility for their own safety while walking, pedestrians definitely have rights. For instance, motorists must yield to them when they cross in crosswalks. However, given the consequences of a collision between a human body and 2,000 lbs. of metal, exercising that right when a driver clearly doesn't see you is a good way to get yourself killed.

Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Rockville

Remember it's better to be safe than sorry when out walking around busily traveled streets and highways. If you get hurt in an accident, you can always file a claim for damages with the driver's insurance company if they are at fault in the collision.

Source: Capital Gazette, "Annapolis partners with state on pedestrian, motorist safety campaign," Chase Cook, Oct. 27, 2016