According to the Federal Highway Administration, each year pedestrian fatalities comprise about 12 percent of all traffic fatalities and there are approximately 4,000 pedestrian deaths. Another 59,000 pedestrians are injured in roadway crashes annually.
Because pedestrian safety is a big concern at Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB), new measures have been put into place to secure the safety of people walking to and from work.
"The base has placed new pedestrian crosswalks that have lights to notify drivers if there is a pedestrian who is in the crosswalk or is about to walk," said Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Jacob Campbell, with the NSAB security office. "There are a lot of people that walk around here, so you have to be careful."
It cannot be stressed enough to be careful while driving on and around the installation.
"Drive [cautiously and defensively] and stop at all the stop signs, because every stop sign has a crosswalk. You have to make sure nobody is walking or wants to walk across, and make sure to yield to pedestrians," said Campbell. In early the mornings before sunrise, when most pedestrians are walking around base, you need to keep an especially watchful eye, said Campbell.
"A lot of people are in a hurry in the mornings, so it can get pretty hectic in the crosswalk. Be careful and make sure you are aware of your surroundings. There are a lot of entrances where cars can come out of nowhere- especially if there are blind spots in that area where they can't see people walking across, or cars are blocking certain views."
Think safety first while driving and walking around the campus. Not doing so could lead to stiff fines or penalties.
"There are laws if you don't yield to a pedestrian," said Campbell. "You could receive a citation if it's witnessed, or if someone complains about a certain crosswalk, we will sit in that area to make sure pedestrians are treated the way they are suppose to be treated."
The NSAB security force is in place to help ensure safety on base, however it is ultimately up to pedestrians and drivers to adhere to the traffic signs and obey safety rules.