More pedestrians dying on Maine streets

DOT wants to update pedestrian zones

SCARBOROUGH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- An alarming spike in pedestrian deaths is worrying officials from Maine's Department of Transportation.

"The department is very concerned with the trends we are seeing with pedestrian fatalities," said Chief Engineer Joyce Taylor. "We are initiating a number of new programs, working with people to get this problem in the forefront of people's minds."

One such program is a series of meetings with town officials throughout Maine. The DOT wants more cities and towns to install flashing beacons or repaint their crosswalks, so drivers can see pedestrians before it's too late.

"We have 40 sets of rapid flashing beacons, which will be given out free to the communities," said Taylor.

The problem, Taylor said, is that drivers are having a hard time spotting the pedestrians. That's causing pedestrian fatalities to rise in Maine.

YEAR PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES
2014 10-11
2015 19
2016 17

Ted Talbot, spokesman for Maine DOT, said 2017 is on track to follow the same trend.

Between 2014 and 2015, the number of pedestrian fatalities almost doubled. Taylor said no one is comfortable with these numbers, and the DOT is trying to do it's part. But the person behind the wheel is ultimately responsible.

"We really need people to take some responsibility as drivers, and really look for pedestrians."

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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