September 4, 2014 – Walking Safely
Anchor lead: Now that school is in session, everyone needs to think about pedestrian safety, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Who’s at risk of being struck by a vehicle while walking? Everyone, including people you might not think would be. That’s according to Keisha Pollack, an injury prevention expert at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Pollack: Issues of pedestrian safety are huge for college students, we don’t think about that. Many schools don’t even allow first year students to have cars, so students have so much more exposure to walking. We also have the issue of being distracted on both sides, both drivers and pedestrians. There’s been a lot of literature about people just not paying attention, crossing the street on their smartphones, having iPods, listening to music, though all of this is a problem we know how to prevent it. Here at the injury center we are promoting strategies around the three e’s, which is education, engineering changes, and enforcement. :30
Pollack says the public needs to be made aware of the risks and public works folks need to change signage and create barriers. Finally, those who flout the law, whether on foot or in a vehicle, should be fined. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.