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Pedestrian Safety Efforts Are Often Stonewalled by State Agencies

State transportation agencies are often very slow to act on safety initiatives that would help minimize the number of auto accidents involving pedestrians,  especially when these initiatives would also mean slowing down traffic. That attitude which also exists in Georgia means that pedestrian safety is compromised, contributing to high numbers of pedestrian accidents.

The Pew Trust has a new report out on how state transportation agencies often stonewall initiatives that could help make it safer and easier for pedestrians and bicyclists to use our roads. The report makes mention of neglect by transportation safety agencies across the country, including in Georgia.  In some cases, local agencies had called for improvements in areas that were pedestrian accident magnets only to find that the state agencies that had the final say in making these areas safer, simply ignored these calls. The result of such inaction has been an increase in pedestrian accidents across the country.

It is no secret that pedestrian accident wrongful deaths have been increasing steadily over the past decade.  In Georgia too, the number of people being killed in car accidents involving pedestrians has continued to rise year after year. One problem is that the current infrastructure exists to serve the needs of motorists.  According to the report, state transportation agencies prefer to prioritize the speedy movement of traffic rather than the rights of pedestrians and bicyclists.  Therefore, you have city streets that often resemble highways, and these roads are often used at high speeds by motorists who ignore the risk to pedestrians, bicyclists and other vulnerable users who may be using these roads. The report also finds that when city streets look like highways,  motorists are much more likely to drive at unsafe speeds, placing pedestrians and other vulnerable users of these roads at risk.  The researchers at Pew Trust recommend making these roadways narrower and adding sidewalks in order to reduce speeding.

The report also makes mention of Macon, Georgia where 4 pedestrian accidents triggered a safety audit by city officials.  However, it took pressure from the media for the Georgia Department of Transportation to actually address the issue, a full 6 years after the audit was completed.

Similar attitudes at state transportation agencies across the country have meant steady and worrying increases in pedestrian accidents.  The neglect of pedestrian safety in street planning initiatives became especially apparent during the pandemic when motoring traffic dropped, but pedestrian accident fatalities continued to rise.

An overwhelming majority of streets across the country are simply unsafe for people to walk on.  This will continue to be the case until transportation agencies recognize that upgrades need to be made to protect pedestrians as well.

The Atlanta car crash attorneys at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia.  If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car or pedestrian accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages.   You may be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and other types of damages.  Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case.

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