Police try to reduce Maine pedestrian deaths

South Portland officers crack down on bicycle safety.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --

Police officers in communities like Scarborough, Westbrook, York along with eight other law enforcement agencies had officers assigned to a specific task Wednesday night.  

The officers will be dedicated to enforcing laws pertaining to pedestrians and others who can easily get hurt on the road if drivers aren’t following the law.

Plain and simple, this was about keeping people what they call “vulnerable users” safe.

These are people biking, using roller blades, walking, scooters.

Police officers like the one we’re riding along with are looking for drivers violating laws that could endanger those people.

In 2016, 276 pedestrians and 182 bicyclists were part of crashes, 19 pedestrians died as a result.

That’s double the number of fatalities in the previous five-year period. Last year, there were 17 deaths.

Police departments in this program have specific violations they’re looking for to try and reduce those fatalities.

“Some of the things that they’re looking for is speed, that’s obviously an issue,  a concern for vulnerable users,” said Lt. Frank Clark, of South Portland police. “Distracted driving is another, people crossing crosswalks, you’re supposed to give motorists three feet if you’re passing someone on a bicycle or a pedestrian.” 

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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