MDOT launches Look Up,Look Out campaign for pedestrian safety

| November 2, 2016
Blackwall Hitch

look-up-look-outEvery year, more than 100 pedestrians are killed in Maryland as a result of a crash, and nearly 2,500 more are injured. The Baltimore metropolitan region is especially hard hit, with Baltimore City and Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Anne Arundel and Queen Anne’s counties combining to account for more than 40 percent of annual pedestrian fatalities for each of the past three years.  In 2015, 48 pedestrians were killed on Maryland roads in the Baltimore metropolitan region, an increase from 2014 when there were 47 fatalities. 

To combat this problem and save lives, officials from the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Baltimore City Department of Transportation (BDOT) joined law enforcement and local safety advocates to launch the Look Up, Look Out pedestrian safety campaign.  This new campaign uses education, enforcement, and engineering tactics to increase awareness about pedestrian safety throughout the region.

“Pedestrians are our most vulnerable road users,” said Motor Vehicle Administrator and Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative Christine E. Nizer.  “The safety and security of Marylanders is the top priority for the Hogan Administration, and this campaign will help save lives and move us closer to our goal of zero deaths on our roadways.  As daylight continues to decrease, we need drivers and pedestrians to look up and look out for one another.”

The new campaign, introduced at the press conference in front of the Baltimore City Fire Department’s Truck Company 29, is part of a more than $500,000 statewide campaign that includes transit, radio, outdoor and social media advertising.  The campaign also includes increased law enforcement and safety ambassadors strategically located at high priority locations throughout the Baltimore region.  The event took place near the intersection of East Cold Spring Lane and York Road, which is one of several high pedestrian crash locations in the City.

“In Baltimore City, pedestrians are often at risk, with crashes in the city representing 32 percent of all statewide pedestrian involved accidents,” said Frank Murphy, Acting Director for the Baltimore City Department of Transportation.  “We are making pedestrian safety a top priority so that we can reduce the number of incidents that occur each year.”

 “Over the next six years, the Hogan Administration will invest more than $184.5 million to upgrade infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists; but engineering is only one part of the safety equation,” said Deputy State Highway Administrator Gregory I. Slater.  “The Look Up, Look Out campaign focuses attention on the rules of the road – urging drivers and pedestrians alike to literally put eyes on the road and watch out for each other, even more critical this time of year with the time change looming.”

“We are excited to partner with the City and the State of Maryland, and we are enlisting the help of the students in an effort to promote safety with the goal of saving lives,” stated Elinor Spokes, First Vice President, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute Parent Faculty Association.  “The Poly community takes student safety very seriously.  Our efforts to improve conditions on and off campus included new signage, repainted crossings and we sought help from City Council Members and City agencies to work with us to ameliorate potentially dangerous conditions.”

To strengthen and expand the state’s efforts to save lives on Maryland roads, Governor Larry Hogan recently announced more than $12.5 million in federal highway safety funds to more than 80 agencies and organizations across Maryland.  The funds will help reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries across the state and are a key component of Maryland’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP).  The plan brings together local, state, and federal partners and organizations such as the National Safety Council, AAA, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and numerous other corporate, non-profit, and public-sector partners.  The SHSP contains more than 30 separate strategies to reduce overall roadway fatalities by at least 50 percent in the next two decades.  The plan emphasizes solutions from the “Four Es” of highway safety – Engineering, Enforcement, Education, and Emergency Medical Services.

The Look Up, Look Out campaign will play a key role in Maryland’s goal of zero deaths on state roadways.  For more information on Maryland’s Toward Zero Deaths campaign, please visit www.towardzerodeathsmd.com.

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