BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The number of deadly pedestrian accidents in Mahoning County is already on trend to be higher this year.
Already this month there have been two pedestrian fatalities in the county. There were four in all of 2019.
The two fatalities this month were in one area of Boardman. The first on Lockwood Boulevard. The second, and most recent, was on Glenwood Avenue. That accident happened last Sunday.
27 Investigates looked into why, in less than one month in the same neighborhood, pedestrian fatalities have already climbed to half of what they were last year.
On both roads, there are stretches with no sidewalks and speed limits are at least 35 mph, and street lights are scarce.
Lt. Brad Bucey with the Ohio State Highway Patrol said not all intersections have crosswalks, and drivers need to be on high alert.
He said it is the responsibility of both the driver and pedestrian to use caution, especially while it is getting dark early in the evening.
“You have to get to where you are going, but if you could use an alternative route somewhere that has sidewalks available or is more well lit, that would be beneficial,” Bucey said.
Boardman Township Trustees encourage anyone who has concerns about street lighting to let them know. Neighbors can submit a petition to the fiscal officer that contains 51 percent of property owners agreeing that more lighting is needed.
After that, a public hearing will be called and if the suggestion for the lighting is approved, the cost will be added to property taxes.
For more information, residents can call 330-726-4177, ext. 1177. More information can found on the Boardman Township website.
Drivers and pedestrians should follow some simple safety tips:
- Wear reflective clothing when walking and stay away from dark colors
- Use sidewalks when available
- Drivers should never wear headphones, and pedestrians should also avoid using them
- Walk against oncoming traffic
- Bikers should travel with traffic
- Don’t drive distracted
Boardman and Mahoning County are not alone when it comes to increased pedestrian accidents. The numbers are climbing across the state. From 2014 to 2018, fatal pedestrian accidents increased from 93 in 2014 to 133 in 2018: (Courtesy: Ohio State Highway Patrol)
- 2014 – 93
- 2015 – 118
- 2016 – 140
- 2017 – 145
- 2018 – 133