MONTGOMERY – In 2021, Troopers with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Highway Patrol Division, in conjunction with our other law enforcement partners across the state, investigated 769 pedestrian-related traffic crashes which resulted in 125 pedestrian fatalities. In response to the dramatic increase, ALEA has launched the “Everyone is a Pedestrian” safety campaign to help bring awareness to the issue but to also ensure that both pedestrians as well as motorists fully understand the hazards associated with crossing or walking near the roadway. It is extremely important for all motorists in Alabama to understand that once they exit a vehicle near a roadway, they automatically become a pedestrian and should take extra precautions.
ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said recently far too many ALEA Troopers have been called to the scene of a traffic crash involving a pedestrian. “It is absolutely troubling to see such a dramatic increase in pedestrian fatalities across the state. Friends and families are losing loved ones to a senseless tragedy that can be easily avoided.”
Colonel Jimmy Helms, Director of ALEA’s Department of Public Safety, agreed with Secretary Taylor and encourages everyone to adhere to safety measures for both pedestrians and drivers. “Our Agency’s goal is to bring awareness to this issue and offer safety tips for both pedestrians as well as motorists in an effort to reduce pedestrian-related crashes and to keep all citizens and visitors safe while traveling on Alabama’s roadways.”
ALEA offers these additional safety measures for pedestrians:
Walk on a sidewalk or path when one is available.
If no sidewalk or path is available, walk on the shoulder – facing traffic.
Be cautious night and day when sharing the roadway with vehicles. Never assume the driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach.
Be predictable, and cross streets at crosswalks or intersections when possible.
Be visible, and wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
Do not walk when under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which impair your judgment and coordination.
Look for pedestrians everywhere. They may not be walking where they should be or may be hard to see – especially in poorly lit conditions, including dusk/dawn hours, at night and in inclement weather, including fog.
Always stop for pedestrians in crosswalks or where pedestrian signs are posted.
Never pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks. They may be stopped to allow individuals to cross the street.
Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Follow speed limits, slow down around pedestrians.
“Our goal is to spread our message to all pedestrians and drivers through a variety of methods in an effort to eliminate dangerous behaviors that impact pedestrian safety,” Secretary Taylor said. “We can all do our part to make Alabama’s roadways safer by working together to remain alert and following the safety guidelines offered.”
The Center for Advanced Public Safety at the University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, provided the following statewide statistics (including local law enforcement agency-investigated deaths):
Pedestrian Deaths by Year
(Note: The number for 2021 is subject to change as local agencies may continue to report additional numbers to the Center.)