The City of Beverly’s Police Department was recently awarded a $4,369 grant from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Office of Grants and Research – Highway Safety Division (EOPSS/OGR/HSD) to improve traffic safety on local roads for pedestrians and bicyclists. In total, nearly $700,000 was awarded to 93 police departments across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
With close to 6,000 pedestrians killed in 2016 across the country, pedestrians now account for a larger proportion (16%) of traffic fatalities than they have in the past 33 years. In Massachusetts, that rate is even higher, with pedestrians representing more than 20% of all traffic fatalities. Bicyclists are dying at higher rates nationally as well-the 840 killed in traffic crashes in 2016 are the most since 1991.
Beverly Mayor Michael Cahill commented “Thank you to the NHTSA and EOPSS for this grant to improve safety for our pedestrians and bicyclists. Beverly strives to be a community that provides safe and convenient transportation choices to all citizens. We are committed to improving walk-ability and adding bicycle lanes wherever appropriate to enhance safety.”
“Bicyclists and pedestrians are at risk from the motoring public because they may not be immediately visible to drivers and unlike those in vehicles, nothing protects them in a crash,” said Police Chief John LeLacheur. “We’ll analyze crash data to identify crosswalks, intersections, and roadways where our enforcement efforts can yield the largest impact on pedestrian and bicyclist safety.”
Under the grant, departments will pay for overtime enforcement to increase compliance with traffic laws by all road users. Departments are also eligible to purchase educational materials, bicycle helmets, and safety items to help enhance pedestrian and bicyclist visibility at night.