Baltimore County Police urge pedestrians to walk safe

It can happen to anyone, anywhere. 
 
That is the point Lt. Stephen Troutman drove home Thursday afternoon as he listed all 11 fatal pedestrian crashes so far this year.
 
"January 3rd, 9:08 pm, Security Blvd, 59-year-old female. January 31st, 1:50 p.m., 695-795, 54-year-old male," Lt. Troutman read. Of the 11 he listed, 9 were pedestrian error. 
 
Believe it or not, that is not an unusual number. 
 
Baltimore County Police and Fire crews respond to hundreds of accidents involving pedestrians every year. 
 
"Eighty percent of these crashes, first of all, involve pedestrian error or they're at fault and in over 60 percent of these cases. The pedestrian that was at fault is over 40 years of age. That's very significant," Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson said. 
 
It is not only significant but it is also the reason leaders in the county came up with the Walk Safe Campaign.
 
It is an effort to get the word out about pedestrian safety in four easy steps. First, obey the law by crossing in a cross walk or intersection. Second, avoid distractions like being on your phone. Third, be visible and lastly, be aware.
 
First responders say they feel the impact every time they respond to a fatal pedestrian crash.
 
Fire Chief John Hohman says he often thinks back to an accident many years ago that killed a young boy. 
 
"I have those thoughts and think about that and thought about that on my way here. Taking that child into the emergency room and what was Baltimore County General. Those things you don't ever ever forget," he said. 
 
"Don't walk distracted. Put your cell phone away. Utilize sidewalks. Don't play chicken in the roadway. ... I ask you Baltimore County citizens to please walk safe and stay alive," Troutman said. 
 
Aside from York Road in Towson, other areas that have proven very dangerous for pedestrians are Liberty Road in Randallstown and Merritt Boulevard in Dundalk. 
 
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