At least that’s the impression you’ll get from the below article. Apparently “much of the time” crashes are the fault of the pedestrian, and they’re mostly drunk anyway. Oh, and how dare they try to cross a street without crosswalks or walk on a road without sidewalks. Silly pedestrians. Get a car already.
Pedestrians cross into danger’s path
Last year, 21 pedestrians died in Franklin County. They often were at fault because they jaywalked or had walked in the road, police said.
Saturday, August 15, 2009 3:03 AM
By Steve Bushong
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Franklin County streets might be getting deadlier for pedestrians.
While the number of pedestrians hit by cars has fluctuated the past five years, fatalities hit a five-year high last year, when 21 people died. In 2007, 14 were killed, and 10 died the year before.
So far this year, 175 pedestrians have been hit and at least nine have died in Franklin County, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
Much of the time, the collisions are the pedestrian’s fault, said police Sgt. Shelia Wilson, who oversees Columbus’ accident-investigation unit.
“Usually, it’s a pedestrian jaywalking,” she said. “Or they’re just walking in the road.”
On streets without sidewalks, Wilson said, pedestrians should stay as close to the edge of the road as possible.
This year, most of the fatal crashes have happened after sunset.
“Most people don’t expect a pedestrian to be in the roadway,” Wilson said. “You might not see a person until you’re right on top of them.”
In case you’re dense, the intro paragraph was mostly sarcasm. Even if all the statements are true, I didn’t like the tone of the article. It seemed like pedestrians were being blamed for their own deaths. One might think that the driver of a vehicle capable of killing someone might be held responsible for hitting people in the roadway at least some of the time.
Anyway, I’m not sure where the data came from. Maybe there was some more detailed report issued recently? It would be interesting to know where the crashes are happening. It would be even more interesting to know what the crash rates are like, but that’s nearly impossible since almost nobody has a good way of keeping track of pedestrian volumes. I hope someone is doing some analysis to find out how to improve safety, especially in hostile pedestrian environments with existing demand for walking.