Pedestrian statistics have MODOT concerned
JEFFERSON CITY - Ninety-eight pedestrians were killed and and 264 were seriously injured in Missouri last year, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation. MoDOT is hoping to reduce those numbers this year.
"It's a very busy time for pedestrians now that it's summer time," MODOT spokesperson Tara Van Loo said. "Drivers and pedestrians need to be looking out for each other."
There were 5,987 pedestrian fatalities nationwide over the course of 2017. That is the highest mark nearly three decades.
Columbia resident George Aregi, who spends a lot of time walking downtown, said he sees problems, but that it comes from both directions.
"There is a lot of jaywalking," Aregi said. "Pedestrians need to follow the rules, and not assume what the driver is doing."
MODOT and the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety have launched a week-long pedestrian awareness campaign that will run through June 17. Van Loo said MoDOT hopes Missourians will be more aware when traveling.
"It's important to look up and see what is in front of you," she said. "There are more drivers out at this time of year. With the devices and earbuds in your ear, it's important to keep those things to a minimum."