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Pedestrian accident injuries drive changes in Massachusetts

We have posted several blogs during the past year about pedestrian accidents. There were four in November, four posts in October and ten during the summer months. Pedestrian accidents are regular occurrences and they are often fatal.

It was recently reported that pedestrian accident injuries are driving changes in Massachusetts. Quincy in particular has announced that the city is beefing up enforcement as well as education in an effort to stem the injuries and fatalities.

Quincy is taking the somewhat unusual step of having police officers pose as pedestrians in order to give traffic citations to drivers who ignore the laws meant to protect the bipeds. One officer posed as a parent with a baby stroller, while an officer down the block issued citations to drivers who ignored the stroller and parent in the crosswalk. In addition, the city council is conducting hearings looking for ideas to improve pedestrian safety. And for good reason - there were 92 pedestrian accidents in Quincy and three of them were fatal.

The state released a study showing which intersections were the most dangerous for the state, in terms of accidents. The intersection of Hancock and Granite streets in Quincy Center and an area just north of that area was ranked as the seventh-worst cluster in Massachusetts.

The education efforts include teaching safe driving practices in schools and other initiatives.

Should a car or truck strike a pedestrian in a crosswalk, the driver could face criminal charges for offenses such as speeding or failure to yield, as well as a civil lawsuit for the personal injury to or wrongful death of the pedestrian.

Source: Patriot Ledger, "Pedestrian accidents spur Quincy to beef up enforcement, education," Jack Encarnacao, Dec. 4, 2012

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