Pedestrian deaths on the rise in the Palmetto State

Published: Apr. 25, 2012 at 6:55 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 30, 2012 at 1:09 PM EDT
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CONWAY, SC (WMBF) The South Carolina Department of Public Safety says pedestrian and cyclist deaths are on the rise. On Wednesday, they launched the S.E.E. program to change that.

It stands for 'Stop. Educate. & Enforce.' South Carolina Highway Patrol held a press conference Wednesday morning and the message was clear. Pedestrians and cyclists have to be visible to drivers. Motorists must share the road and be keep eyes open for people sharing the road.

Everyone needs to follow the law. South Carolina law states people on bikes have the right to be in the roadway, and must obey the same laws regulating traffic movement. Motorists must treat cyclists same as they would treat a car.

The state law for pedestrians is different. Pedestrians and are not allowed in the roadway, if there is a sidewalk available. If there isn't a sidewalk, pedestrians need to walk on the shoulder of the roadway to as close to the edge of the roadway as possible.

There are several safety measures every pedestrian should take to improve safety. One of the main reason pedestrians are being killed is low visibility. Most fatal pedestrian crashes happen at nighttime making it difficult for drivers to see someone walking on the street. This is why state troopers recommend pedestrians wear light colored clothing and something reflective on their bodies.

"Reflective material you can see from almost 500 ft, which gives a car plenty of time to stop," explained SCHP Lance Corporal, Sonny Collins.

Collins also recommends facing traffic while walking. One major trend law enforcement encounters on the road is intoxicated pedestrian standing, walking or even lying in the roadway. Collins explained that walking impaired can be just as deadly as driving impaired.

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