Forget DUI checkpoints, Delaware implements pedestrian checks

 Office of Highway Safety billboard

Office of Highway Safety billboard

After 13 pedestrian deaths in Delaware this year, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety is increasing pedestrian safety checks in high-risk areas.

Pedestrian deaths through the first half of the year are higher than they were at this time last year. That’s a concern for OHS because the fall season with shorter daylight hours and increased traffic typically sees a bigger risk for pedestrian-involved accidents.

In 2012, there were 30 pedestrians killed and 347 pedestrians injured on Delaware roads. That was a big jump over 2011, when just 19 pedestrians were killed.

The first pedestrian safety check will be held this Friday near the Starboard in Dewey Beach. Officers will patrol areas with high risk for pedestrian-involved crashes, looking for pedestrians who are at risk. Those risk factors include not crossing at a crosswalk or signaled intersection, walking at night without reflective clothing or flashlight, or walking while impaired.  

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Pedestrians who are stopped will be given advice on how to better protect themselves while walking on the road. They’ll also be given informational flyers and a reflective string backpack.

As part of the effort to encourage pedestrians to be more aware of the dangers they face on the road, OHS has launched an advertising campaign based on the popular TV show “The Walking Dead.” The ads feature zombies crossing the road with the tagline, “Don’t join the walking dead.”  

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