BALTIMORE, MD—The Maryland State Highway Administration is observing National Pedestrian Safety Month in October and is urging motorists to follow safe behaviors by paying attention, avoiding distractions, never speeding and maintaining the rules of the road.
“The State Highway Administration is committed to making significant investments and improvements to facilities to improve access and safety for vulnerable users,” said State Highway Administrator William Pines. “When using our roads, we all have a role in making sure everyone gets home safe.”
Motorists are urged to:
- stay alert, slow down and stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and intersections (it’s the law);
- use caution when turning at intersections;
- stop at stop signs and for school buses, and
- move over a lane when approaching any stopped, standing or parked vehicle displaying warning signals.
Pedestrians are urged to:
- pay attention to their surroundings;
- use sidewalks and marked crosswalks, and
- press the pedestrian signal button at signalized intersection, then wait for the walk signal.
In a crash involving a vehicle and a pedestrian, a pedestrian is far more likely to be seriously injured or killed.
According to the Maryland Highway Safety Office, there were 2,609 pedestrian crashes involving a vehicle and pedestrian in 2022, resulting in 2,593 injuries and 131 fatalities.
October is designated National Pedestrian Safety Month by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to the administration, 77% of pedestrian fatalities nationwide occur when it’s dark outside. To help increase safety pedestrians are encouraged to wear bright colors and reflective clothes when using roadways at dusk, nighttime and early morning hours.
In May, the State Highway Administration released the state’s first Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, which identifies corridors across the state with the greatest safety and accessibility needs. The plan is an important tool as the state strives to reach the goal of Vision Zero – zero deaths and serious injuries on our roadways. To put this plan into action, the State Highway Administration has programmed nearly $100 million to address this critical safety and accessibility needs.
In addition to the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, the agency uses its Context Driven Guide to advance safety improvements by considering the “context” of each area in terms of land-use, population density, transit and other factors to select and design improvements that have the greatest safety impacts. More than 300 context driven safety improvements have been developed across Maryland since the guide’s inception in March 2021.
Additionally, by November 15, the State Highway Administration will complete and release its Vulnerable Road User Safety Assessment. The assessment builds upon the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan and includes crash data over a six-year period, as well as evaluation of local and state roads. The assessment was produced with consultation of interested parties through online meetings and surveys. A vulnerable road user is a non-motorist who may be walking, biking, rolling or using a mobility device.
Additional pedestrian safety tips are available online.