Pedestrian Safety

Mother and child crossing road artwork

In 2008, approximately 20.6% (75 pedestrian fatalities) of all motor vehicle-related fatalities (364) involved pedestrians in Massachusetts. That year, 233 pedestrians suffered serious/incapacitating injuries as a result of a motor-vehicle crash.

Many are quick to blame drivers for pedestrian fatalities and injuries. Yet the most frequent cause is pedestrian error. A large majority of pedestrian fatalities take place outside a crosswalk. To reduce their risk, walkers must learn what traffic laws apply to them and then adhere to them at all times. To improve pedestrian safety at the community-level, police departments, highway departments and school departments need to consider pedestrian issues during their annual planning processes.

To improve pedestrian safety, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's Highway Safety Division (EOPSS-HSD) supports community-based programs, offers trainings and conferences, and provides public information.