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SCDPS reminds public to be seen after pedestrian fatalities rise

Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – The SC Department of Public Safety is concerned about the number of pedestrian traffic fatalities we’ve experienced in South Carolina in 2019. In Lexington County, there have already been several instances where people were walking in the road and were struck and killed by a vehicle since the first of the year. According to Lance Corporal David Jones of the SC Highway Patrol, pedestrian fatalities are most likely to occur in the warmer months, so seeing them when the weather is cold and wet is not a good sign. To help prevent more of these types of collisions, the SCDPS is offering the following tips for people who walk, run, or bike along the roads to get from point A to point B, or maybe just for the exercise.

First, make sure you dress to be seen if you are running, biking, or walking when it is dark. By the time a motorist sees a pedestrian in dark clothing, it can often be too late for them to avoid a collision. Wear light clothing and retro-reflective accessories.

Next, no matter the time of day, use a sidewalk or the shoulder of the road when walking or biking. If there’s a bike lane, use those. Never walk in the roadway and when biking, follow all traffic laws just as you would when driving a car. Also, walk facing traffic. This allows you to see what is approaching.

If you have to cross over the street or road, always cross at crosswalks or intersections. Look both ways and don’t bet your life that a vehicle has seen you and will yield the right of way. If you are in the country where there may be no corners or crosswalks, don’t attempt to cross the road where there’s a hill or a curve that could block the view of an approaching driver from seeing you.

Lastly, walking along a road under the influence of alcohol or drugs is just about as foolish as driving while intoxicated. It only takes one stumble or swerve and you could quickly be in the road instead of beside the road. If you feel a buzz or have been using intoxicants, call a ride, sleep over, or call a ride share or cab. It’s just not worth your life to get anywhere if you had a too many.

By following these simple rules, you can live to a ripe old age and you’ll get to sit in a rocker and tell your grandchildren those tall tales grandparents tell. Remember the one your grandpa told you about how he used to walk miles and miles, up-hill both ways, in ten feet of snow in South Carolina? You can tell your grandkids that when they start asking to borrow your car!

For more traffic safety tips or information on Target Zero, go to the website www.scdps.gov.

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