Slow down for pedestrians

Stock photo courtesy of Pexels.

Do your part to stop pedestrian involved crashes

The APG Directorate of Emergency Services, or DES, has received a myriad of complaints about vehicles failing to yield to pedestrians in the C4ISR Campus on APG North (Aberdeen) and other areas around the installation. APG police officers ask members of the Team APG community to come together to try and eradicate this dangerous driving practice.

Sgt. Charles J. Rykiel, the DES Police Department patrol supervisor, said that pedestrian safety is something everyone has to be aware of while driving.

“APG currently has approximately 21,000 civilians, military, and contractor employees… Every day, each of those personnel… will become a pedestrian at some part in the day,” Rykiel said.

“Drivers need to be aware of pedestrians and use caution when operating a vehicle. [They] need to be particularly cautious on parking lots and around crosswalks.”

Drivers charged with “failure to exercise due care to avoid hitting a pedestrian” can be fined from $70 – $500, and will incur one point on their driver’s license in the state.

Beyond the financial ramifications, the results of this driving practice can result in severe injury or death.

The rate of pedestrian-involved crashes in Maryland has continued to fluctuate over the past five years, even with a large push to educate the public.

According to the Maryland Pedestrian Safety Program, one in four deadly crashes in Maryland involved a pedestrian, and each year in the state approximately 3,000 pedestrian involved crashes occur. Of those accidents, 86 percent result in an injury or a fatality.

“Remember, these are your friends, co-workers, and family,” Rykiel said of the pedestrians on post. “Failure to use caution could have a disastrous or even fatal result for a moment of inattention.”

For drivers
Drivers can do their part by making sure to come to a complete stop at stop signs and stop lights, as well as yield and/or stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk even if it’s not marked. Drivers also need to pay attention and slow down.

On average, Friday was the peak day for pedestrian involved crashes. More then half occur between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. when people are getting off of work or rushing out to start their weekend.

Distractions such as cell phones and other electronic devices should be stowed out of sight while driving, so social media or text messages don’t tempt the driver.

For pedestrians
Pedestrians also must do their part by walking smart. That means using sidewalks where available and crossing only at crosswalks. Make sure to pay attention before crossing the street by looking left, right, and left again, and stay off of electronic devices while walking as well.

The “walk” signal at a crosswalk doesn’t mean that cars will automatically stop. Make sure that all vehicles have come to a complete stop before entering the roadway.

Try to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you before entering the crosswalk.

By Lauren Finnegan, APG News