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Cumberland Police Officers Will be Out At Crosswalks on Thursday

October 16th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

Cumberland – A large majority of automobile accidents, especially those involving pedestrians and bicyclists occur at crosswalk intersections simply from the lack of proper attention. Thursday, October 18 between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm, Cumberland police officers will be out at crosswalks promoting traffic safety.

The officers will be passing out neon colored bags with two important messages – Share the Road and Be Street Smart. “Our job is to keep our citizens safe. But we need the public’s help to make that happen.

Cumberland is a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly city. Our goal is to encourage everyone to be more vigilant at crosswalk intersections,” commented City Police Captain Chuck Ternent. “At some point everyone is a pedestrian. Pedestrian safety is an issue that affects everyone; young and old, drivers, walkers and bicyclists and accidents can happen at any time of the day. We urge everyone to Look Up, Look Out.”

The City Police Department’s crash reconstruction team has reviewed crosswalk areas are evaluated to make sure each is up to code. The police department is working with the city’s Street Department to enhance signage and make signage more visible. “Pedestrian and bicyclists safety involves knowing when to walk and when to not walk. Pedestrians and bicyclists are vulnerable people on our roads. It takes the pedestrian, the bicyclist and the driver to be attentive, follow the rules and be smart,” added Ternent.

The Cumberland Police Department investigates an average of 1,174 vehicle accidents annually. Among the vehicle crashes, there are an average of 11 involving pedestrians. In 2018, there were 12 pedestrian crashes including several serious injuries and one fatality. The most common factor contributing to vehicle accidents is the lack of proper attention. Distracted driving, including the use of cell phones, definitely contributes to many vehicular accidents.

The same goes for distracted walkers using cell phones and wearing headphones, inhibiting their ability to pay attention to their surroundings. The State of Maryland has several pedestrian safety laws for both drivers and pedestrians/bicyclists, which can result in tickets and for drivers a point on their record. Failure to stop for pedestrian in crosswalk, passing a vehicle stopped for a pedestrian, failure to yield right-of-way when turning on green signal or green arrow, failure to stop at clearly marked stop line, failure to yield to pedestrian before turning on red and failure to exercise due care to avoid hitting a pedestrian can result in fines of up to $500 and points.

Pedestrian laws include failure to obey a red traffic signal, failure to obey pedestrian control signal, failure to yield the right-of-way to vehicle, failure to cross at signalized intersection, crossing intersection diagonally, and pedestrian unlawfully on roadway. Fines for failure to obey the pedestrian laws can range from $40 and up to $500. To learn more about safety laws in Maryland, visit www.towardzerodeathsmd.com.

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