Pedestrian deaths are a crime [Letter]

July 04, 2014

There were 700 pedestrian deaths and injuries in Baltimore last year, nearly three times the 235 homicides ("Walk this way," June 30). Baltimore has twice the pedestrian death rate as the national average. Yet, we pay it no mind. Every day, I see people speeding through busy city streets, driving through crosswalks blaring their horns when pedestrians are legally crossing, driving in reverse when they miss their turns, double parking and doing whatever they please with no worries about being pulled over.

Baltimore County has written off their problem as pedestrian stupidity and plans to put up a few posters and call it a day. I hope Baltimore City will do better. Other cities have taken the problem seriously, enforcing traffic laws and reducing accidents involving pedestrians by more than half. I believe pedestrians should obey the laws, stop jaywalking and use common sense but I do not agree they bear equal responsibility for injuries. One party is operating a lethal weapon and the other is dead or badly injured. Sort of like a gun problem. Maybe we should stop being so consumed by the "war on drugs" and focus on improving the safety and everyday lives of law abiding citizens.

Sandra Getlein, Baltimore

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