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Baltimore County Leaders Urging Pedestrians To Walk Safe

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TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Deadly crashes involving pedestrians hit an alarming high, and who’s to blame in most cases may surprise you.

Monique Griego has more on the new way county leaders are trying to save lives.

Contrary to what most people may think, in Baltimore County, authorities say when a person gets hit by a car, it’s usually been their own fault.

Time after time, first responders in Baltimore County are called to the same horrific scenes–pedestrians hit by vehicles.

Last year, the number of people killed hit a five-year high at 22. This year has already seen 11 deaths.

“Our pedestrians, our bicyclists, are distracted these days with the cell phones, with the ear phones. And quite honestly, they’re taking shortcuts across roadways,” said Lt. Stephen Troutman, Baltimore County Police.

And who’s at fault in most accidents may shock you. Out of the 400 calls authorities respond to a year, 80 percent are due to pedestrian error.

“We tend to think, ‘Oh, it must be the driver.’ It’s not,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

The county is trying to raise awareness about the problem with the new “Walk Safe” program. It’s goal is to remind pedestrians to avoid distractions, obey the law and to be aware and visible.

When it comes to hot spots for these accidents, authorities say it’s York Road, Merritt Boulevard and Liberty Road where most people are cutting through traffic. Joseph Washington is one of them.

“Sometimes when you’re in a hurry to get somewhere you kind of throw the rule book out the window and you throw caution to the wind,” he said.

Washington was headed to the bus stop–another place police say is a hotbed for crashes. They now hope people realize a quick shortcut can cost you your life.

“You don’t wake up every day and think today is the day I’m going to get hit by a car. Nobody does that,” said Troutman.

For more information on the “Walk Safe” campaign, click here.

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