The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding both pedestrians and motorists that safety is a shared responsibility.
Since 2015, there have been 15,169 pedestrian-related crashes on Ohio’s roadways. Of those, 758 were fatal crashes involving the death of 761 pedestrians.
During this time, 43 percent of pedestrian-related crashes occurred between 3 and 8:59 p.m. However, nearly 40 percent of pedestrian-related crashes that resulted in a fatality happened between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.. Pedestrian-related crashes increased from October through December.
“I encourage pedestrians to be attentive, visible, and safe when walking, especially at night,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Both pedestrians and motorists should always be mindful of their surroundings to make certain the safety of all Ohioans.”
Pedestrians should always use a sidewalk when it is provided. It is unlawful for pedestrians to walk along and upon the adjacent roadway if a sidewalk is available. Where no sidewalk or shoulder exists, pedestrians may walk as close as practicable to an outside edge of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
“Pedestrians and motorists alike should always be aware of their surroundings,” said Lieutenant Tim Karwatske, Chillicothe Post Commander. “Stay alert and refrain from using any devices that may cause a distraction.”
Pedestrians and motorists can follow these tips to increase pedestrian safety:
• Do not be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.
• Pedestrians should wear bright or reflective clothing, especially at night.
• Pedestrians should cross where motorists expect them to, follow pedestrian signs and signals, and never assume a driver can see you.
• Motorists are required to yield to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk and in unmarked crosswalks at intersections.
• Motorists can use bright headlights when legally able to illuminate the roadway and possibly spot a pedestrian walking near the roadway.
• Motorists should slow down and drive cautiously in residential areas.
For more information, a traffic safety bulletin can be found at: https://www.statepatrol.ohio.gov/links/Pedestrian_Bulletin_2020.pdf