Baltimore County Now
Lieutenant Stephen Troutman
Support Operations Division, Crash Team
Baltimore County Police Department
As the leader of Baltimore County’s Crash Investigation Team, I see a lot of pain and suffering that simply didn’t have to happen. Possibly the most frustrating and heart-wrenching part of my job is responding to crashes involving pedestrians. This year alone there have already been 17 people who have died in pedestrian crashes in Baltimore County and pedestrian error was the cause in a majority of the cases.
On May 30th, I was interviewed on the cable program, “Hello Baltimore County.” I talked about this increase in fatal pedestrian crashes and offered some advice on how to avoid becoming a victim. Off the air, I mentioned to the show host that during the month-long airing of the show, we would surely have additional pedestrian crash fatalities. Such was the case on 6/14/2013 when a young child stepped in front of a motorist and was killed. On 7/20/2013, we experienced yet another pedestrian crash fatality on the east side of the County involving an adult.
Unfortunately there is usually no rhyme or reason to the crashes. The fatalities range from young children to older adults and occur in all areas of Baltimore County, from the interstates to low speed rural roadways and neighborhood streets.
One constant theme, however, is pedestrian error. I cannot emphasize enough the need to use caution and pay attention when walking on the roads. You need to realize that you are no match for a 3,000 pound vehicle and must follow some simple but critical basics:
- Use crosswalks and obey traffic signals.
- Don’t be distracted by cell phones and musical devices.
- At night, leave the dark clothing at home.
- Don’t take unnecessary chances.
- Driving drunk is dangerous and so is walking while inebriated. “Arrive Alive” and “It can wait” counts for pedestrians too – call a cab instead.
- Take in your surroundings and don’t be in a hurry to cross a busy road.