Governor’s Office of Highway Safety promoting pedestrian safety in Macon as part of statewide campaign
After 9 pedestrian deaths this year, the state is trying to help Bibb County prevent more.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is attempting to put an end to pedestrian fatalities.
“Our philosophy is simple, one death is one too many,” Communications Director for the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Robert Hydrick said. “Pedestrian fatalities are really preventable.”
Since the start of 2021, Macon-Bibb County already has 9 pedestrians deaths. Hydrick says that number put the Office of Highway Safety on alert.
“Macon-Bibb County is one of the top 10 or 12 counties in the state for pedestrian roadway fatalities,” Hydrick explained.
When driving around Macon, you may notice bright yellow billboards that show a person on a crosswalk. This is the Highway Safety Office’s latest attempt to alert drivers to slow down and look for people crossing the road. It’s part of a statewide effort where the office is working to educate the public on pedestrian safety.
“We have these billboards up statewide,” Hydrick said. “We looked at data to see some of the roads in our state that have more pedestrian fatalities to try to target those areas.”
In the last 10 years, Macon-Bibb has seen a 60% increase in pedestrian deaths.
In 2015, Commissioner Elaine Lucas helped create the county’s Pedestrian Safety Review Board to help lower these numbers.
“We’re not just sitting and mourning with the families,” Lucas said. “We’re doing all we can to make this community safer.”
According to crash data, most pedestrian deaths in Bibb County happen on state roads. Lucas says the review board hopes to address the issue by creating more sidewalks, better lighting and asking the state for safety additions along state roads.
“We want to work with everybody to try to and make sure with anything that involves cars and people being in the same space, that we create as much of a safety net for our citizens as we possibly can,” Lucas said.
Lucas asks the community to do their part if going walking, jogging, or biking. She says it’s a good idea to wear brightly colored clothing and stay on the sidewalk if you can. If you have to cross a street along your way, it’s best to wait for a walk sign before crossing.