CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Concerns over pedestrian safety have intensified with growing incidents of deadly accidents occurring in our area and across Massachusetts.
Over the last year, there has been an alarming list of deadly pedestrian crashes happening in cities like Chicopee, Worcester and Springfield. However, potential solutions are in the works.
“We’ve been very proactive, you’re going to see more infrastructure,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.
“The northern side of Chicopee Street, three locations where they’ll be some street dieting,” said Chicopee Mayor John Vieau.
Of the 351 total cities and towns in Massachusetts, 60 had a deadly pedestrian crash in 2022, according to recent data from pedestrian safety group, WalkBoston. The report also says this is a 35 percent increase compared to the previous year.
Three of those deadly crashes occurred in Springfield, where residents told 22News drivers often ignore speed limits.
“A friend of mine, her neighbor was hit on Sumner Street while she was crossing the street in front of her apartment,” said Rusty Polsgrove of Springfield.
There were seven deadly pedestrian crashes in Worcester last year and five in Chicopee. Some factors of the incidents are infrastructure, speeding and distracted driving.
“The distraction is definitely part of it, the amount of people I see driving and texting, driving and on their phone. I think we need speed bumps, I think we need light, like those flashy lights with the crosswalks,” said Polsgrove.
“I just feel like people should stay off their phones while driving. Hands on the wheels, eyes on the road that’s it,” said Khadija Walters of Springfield.
A bill passed last year by former Governor Charlie Baker in January went into effect this weekend, it requires all drivers to provide at least four feet of space between them and “vulnerable road users” when passing.