KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) says Kalamazoo is one of four cities in Michigan with some of the highest number of pedestrian crashes over a five-year period.
Michigan State Police will began overtime enforcement this week after receiving mobilization grants to focus on the laws applicable to pedestrian safety to help reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
“This enforcement period aims to educate community members about the importance of pedestrian safety and the traffic laws designed to protect them,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “We want everyone, people who drive and people who walk, to obey traffic signs and signals and stay alert for each other. Organizations are working hard to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries in Michigan, but there is still more we can do.”
Between 2013-2017, pedestrian crash data for the four Michigan cities show: Detroit with a total of 2,330; Kalamazoo with a total of 264; Warren with a total of 193, and Lansing with a total of 261.
Law enforcement agencies like the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, Kalamazoo County Sheriff, Kalamazoo Township Police and Western Michigan University Public Safety will be taking part in the week long crackdown.
Officers during this campaign will be on the lookout for violations by drivers that include: illegal turns, failing to stop at a signal or stop sign before a crosswalk, failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk at a signalized intersection, and blocking a roadway that interferes with the normal flow of traffic. Officers will also be looking for violations by pedestrians that include: not following traffic control signals, not walking on a sidewalk where provided, not walking facing traffic when on a roadway, and failing to yield to drivers with the right-of-way.
In Michigan, more than 100 pedestrians die each year. The month of September is an especially deadly time of year for pedestrians, with one of the highest volume of crashes – more than 1,000 in the last five years.
The enforcement campaign is supported with federal traffic safety funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and coordinated by the OHSP.