More pedestrians being hit by cars around Indianapolis
There is new information about a growing danger in Indianapolis - pedestrians being struck by vehicles.
More people are getting hit by cars. Late Friday, Eyewitness News learned one of two people hit while trying to move a broken-down car this morning near the airport has died. The other is in serious, but stable, condition.@
Police say the victims did everything right by wearing reflective vests and turning on the car's emergency flashers. It happened on the corner of West Washington Street and Bridgeport Road.
Friday morning, weather could have been a factor. It was both rainy and foggy in the area. But one thing we know for sure is that both drivers and pedestrians are playing a role in the increased number of crashes.
"Usually 3-4 miles a day, depends on what I have to do that day and where I have to be," said Randy Johnson, who takes regular walks along city streets.
But as a pedestrian, staying safe on the roads is a full-time job.
"I have to be the aware one, just in case they aren't. They're in a car.@They're not going to get hurt, if I get hit, I am, so I have to look out for me," said Randy.
And for good reason. Scenes like the one Friday morning where pedestrians are hit are on the rise in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.
Last year, the Indianapolis area saw 294 crashes involving pedestrians, 20 were fatal. This year, while the number of fatalities is down to only 10 so far, the number of crashes is already up, with a month to go.
"A lot of it is the drivers. They're not paying attention. There's so much going on with our lives now and we need people to pay attention to what they're doing - driving a car," said IMPD Lt. George Crooks.
But pedestrians also have a role in safety.@Where sidewalks aren't present, you should always walk on the side of the road against the traffic, so you can see what's going on. Wear light, reflective clothing and, a common denominator for both drivers and pedestrians, always be aware of your surroundings.
"The major cause of crashes is following too closely. Everybody is in a rush.@If we could stop people from doing that, our crashes would go way down," said Crooks.
In the meantime, Randy will continue to watch out for himself.
"Just the things my mother taught me when I was a kid, look both ways before you cross the street," he said.
Marion County pedestrian-car crashes are also up, about 6 percent so far this year. The Marion County Traffic Safety Partnership is using Federal dollars to supply extra police manpower to monitor about a dozen high-crash intersections around the city. Officers believe this crackdown is keeping the numbers from surging a lot higher.