Prince George's officials work to stop pedestrian fatalities
Crossing the street at the wrong time is getting a lot of people in trouble. For the past five years, Prince George's County has seen the highest number of pedestrian and bike fatalities in the region. Now, officials are trying to change that.
“We'll be on high alert throughout the spring and summer for those who do not obey the rules of the road,” said Mark Magaw, Prince George’s County Police Chief.
Using the busy intersection of Silver Hill Road and Marlboro Pike in District Heights as a backdrop, Prince George's County law enforcement kicked off the spring-edition of the street smart campaign.
“It's really a piece to have everyone look out for each other. You're driving a car, a pedestrian or on a bicycle and it's important to be aware of your surroundings for your own safety but also the safety of others,” Magaw said.
Paramedic Stephanie Buffum tried to drive the message home, by speaking about her own personal experience treating a victim who didn't use the crosswalk.
“I could actually see his lacerated lung and a portion of his heart,” Buffum said.
She said the 26-year-old victim died at the hospital, and sadly his story isn't unusual.
“Right here in Maryland, more than 3,000 crashes involving pedestrians occur each year. As a result, 2500 people are injured and 100 of those are killed,” said Brian Young of the Maryland Highway Administration.
Since 2002, the campaign has tried to put a dent in these numbers through regular enforcement and education.
Last week police were out informing pedestrians about safety on the streets, this week they're cracking down issuing tickets. A fine for jaywalking is $50.