Pedestrian Safety Tips
- Walk on a sidewalk or path when available
- Always walk facing traffic
- Never assume the driver sees you
- Be predictable
- Be visible
- Do not walk under the influence
Driver Safety Tips
- Look for pedestrians everywhere-do not assume they will be where they should be
- Be cautious in poorly lit places
- Always stop for pedestrians at crosswalks-never pass vehicles stopped at cross walks
- Never drive under the influence
- Follow speed limits and slow down around pedestrians
Welcome back to FM Talk 1065 and Mobile Mornings. And once again, a pleasure to be joined by the great Bryan Comer from the local law firm, Tobias & Comer Law, LLC. Bryan, thanks for coming in again.
Well, thanks. The feeling is mutual.
We love every time you're able to come by or Desi Tobias. We love the whole TMC crew over there. And anytime you guys get a chance to come by. But today, this morning, a very special guest. Bryan isn't joining me alone, but State Trooper Anna Peoples joins us here. Trooper Peoples, thank you so much for coming in.
Yeah, thank you for having me.
I guess let's start with this. What brought Anna, what brought you Trooper Peoples and Bryan, and Tobias & Comer Law, LLC, what brought us all together here today?
Actually, Trooper Peoples reached out to me. ALEA, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has recently put out a press release, and it was extremely troubling to me when I saw it. The campaign is called ‘Everyone is a Pedestrian’. That's not the troubling part. The troubling part was the numbers. And I believe it was last year there was 769 pedestrian related traffic crashes which resulted in 125 fatalities in 2021. So, Trooper Peoples reached out to us last week to say, hey, could you help us get the word out? And I said absolutely. And I know that we like to come in here and talk with you. And I thought this would be a good opportunity for her to bring ALEA’s message about the ‘Everyone is a Pedestrian’ safety campaign to Mobile, Alabama area.
Yeah, no doubt. And those numbers are certainly troubling. I wouldn't have guessed that off the top of my head, that that's how many pedestrian accidents there were. And then, of course, the fatalities that resulted from that. But Trooper Peoples, thank you so much for coming in. I guess give us a baseline. What is the ‘Everyone is a Pedestrian’ safety campaign?
It's a safety campaign that ALEA put out there to keep pedestrians in our motoring public's minds just to make people more aware of their surroundings as pedestrians and drivers. So like I said, what we want to focus on is getting the word out there. As long as you make people aware of it, maybe they'll start being more conscious of it whenever they do start approaching somebody on the highways, things like that. So we did an initial release on January 19, and that was to kickstart the campaign. And since we've done that here in Mobile and Baldwin County, we've already experienced eight additional crashes. I do believe it's going to be four injuries and three fatalities just in the first seven weeks.
I imagine that's a pretty high rate when it's a pedestrian involved accident. The fatality rate is probably pretty high because there's not much cushion there.
Right, right. And that rate will likely go past that 125 deaths for the year of 2021.
That's terrible. And I'm glad you guys are bringing this to so many people's attention. So let's talk about some of those tips, because so often whenever I have Bryan or Desi in studio and we talk about an unfortunate accident or something that happened, the people it happens to never think that it'll be them. They always think it's happening to someone else. But what you guys are doing, bringing awareness to pedestrian safety. What are some tips? Let's start with someone who's walking, the pedestrian. In this case, what are some of the pedestrian tips you have for us?
What we like to stress to our pedestrians is, if there's a path or a walkway, stay on it. And then also whenever you walk, try to walk facing traffic. We like to say be predictable, as in don't do something that maybe somebody driving by wouldn't expect you to do. Don't step out of the roadway as somebody's approaching you. Just stay off the roadway, face the roadway, be visible. That is a big thing at nighttime. If you know you're going to have to walk to your destination, wear something that has reflectors on it, bright colors, carry a flashlight, a headlight, things like that. We also don't want you to ever assume the driver sees you. I know he sees me. He's going to slow down or move over. And then also try not to walk under the influence. You don't want to do anything that puts you in harm's way, especially if you're not all the way sober.
Yeah, because we've talked about DUIs before. Obviously operating a vehicle and machinery a big no. But if you're in downtown Mobile. If you drink enough and you don't have someone to keep you steady, that could be very dangerous. And I imagine the crosswalks, too. Some people trying to maybe cut corners literally and go without the crosswalk. That's probably resulted in quite a few pedestrian fatalities also.
Right. Because those drivers are going to expect you to be in the crosswalk. So like I said, that just goes with our be predictable, go with what we know.
No doubt. We're sitting here with Bryan Comer, with the local law firm, Tobias & Comer Law, LLC, and also Trooper Anna Peoples with ALEA. Joining us to talk about the ‘Everyone is a Pedestrian’ safety campaign. We talked about pedestrians. Now let's go to the other side. You don't want to be someone who's in an accident and in the vehicle either, when a pedestrian is involved. What are some tips for our drivers out there, especially navigating downtown Mobile? I mean, that's a prime a place as any for someone to get hit.
We want to stress just as much with the pedestrians and the crosswalk. Watch for those pedestrians to be in that crosswalk. If you're approaching a crosswalk, go ahead and automatically slow down. If you're behind a vehicle that approaches that crosswalk, don't pass a vehicle in that area where pedestrians could be traveling. We advise you to look for pedestrians everywhere. Never assume they're going to be where you think they're going to be. Never assume they're just going to be in downtown Mobile. They could be on the side of the interstate. Also be a little bit more cautious in your poorly lit areas, as well as never drive under the influence. Your reaction time is tremendously lower whenever you're under the influence, than whenever you're sober. And you may see that person standing out there, but your reaction time, a normal person's reaction time is 1.5 seconds. Yours, maybe three. And you can't correct yourself. Like I said, just don't pass in crosswalks. Expect people to be in crosswalks. Mind your speed around pedestrians. And like I said, just don't drive under influence.
Some good tips for sure. Bryan, it's important enough to TMC that you guys have brought Trooper Peoples in to talk about this. I'm sure you've worked cases involving both sides of this.
Yeah. And oddly enough, I was just in Auburn recently talking to a pre-law class and they were asking about some of my cases. And one of the cases I talked about was on I-85. I believe we've talked about before the Sarah Anderson matter, where she had been involved in an accident and had gotten out of her car to warn people of the danger. Well, you don't think of it in those terms, but she then became a pedestrian. And I think that after reading the press release, talking with Trooper Peoples before we came on air - Everyone does become a pedestrian. The moment you get out of your car, you're a pedestrian. And so it's incumbent on the pedestrians and on the drivers to always make sure that you're being safe and so that you get where you're going alive.
Well said. Is there a certain time of day? I mean, we need to be aware all the time, but when do you traditionally see most of these types of accidents occur?
So with us for the state, we see them between 05:00 pm. And 01:00 am. So that tells you right there, most of the time it's in the dark, it's not in the daytime. So from 05:00 pm to 01:00 am is whenever we as state troopers see it. And like I said, we go with our stats. But that doesn't mean that city, county, municipalities, theirs may be different. Just as well as the number that we quoted earlier, with 125 deaths for 2021 statewide, that could change because every day other smaller municipalities and PDs are adding their stats statewide. So that number could actually be higher than what it is.
Well, that’s disconcerting for sure. And Bryan, when your partner, Desi Tobias was in last time we were talking about uninsured motorist coverage. And this kind of plays into that as well, doesn't it?
Yeah, that's a great point. People don't think of it in terms of that. But the Uninsured Motorist Policy will cover a pedestrian in the event that they're injured by an automobile. And the same is true if they're on a bicycle or in a car. If you are a pedestrian and you get struck by a motorist, whether they're under the influence or not, or speeding or failed to yield the right of way, then your Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist Coverage applies.
Well, I am once again smarter for Bryan coming in, and even more so that you brought Trooper Anna Peoples. Thank You so much for coming in.
For more information, please visit the ALEA.gov website.