Hamden police warn of increase in pedestrian accidents

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — We’ve heard since we could barely walk to look both ways and cross at the crosswalk. We know the rules, but don’t always follow them.

Hamden Police say not following the laws can have devastating consequences.

“During the summer, this summer, Hamden Police has investigated approximately 9 to 12 motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians. Some of the cases the pedestrians were seriously injured,” said Captain Ronald Smith with the Hamden Police Department.

Those are numbers alarming enough to call attention to what police say is a rising problem. Officers say pedestrians are often distracted and end up being the person responsible for the accident.

“We have several accidents where people are distracted while crossing the roadway, especially with younger adults. They’re using their cellphones. They’re talking on the cellphone, texting and crossing the street,” said Captain Smith.

Hamden Police say most of the accidents are happening on Dixwell Avenue and Whitney Avenue. They have also had three accidents involving bicyclists in the last few months.

On Wednesday afternoon, News 8 spotted numerous people breaking the rules of the road. Near the Hamden Plaza, people could be seen crossing in areas without crosswalks, one woman crossing where turning cars had the right of way, one narrowly missing her.

“Use the crosswalk. The lights are there for a reason,” said Sigmund Morrier of Hamden. “Often I see people crossing the streets in the wrong places. I do see that.”

Police are hoping people will look at these statistics and start practicing safer walking. They want to remind people to use the crosswalks and if there isn’t one go to a corner to cross. Officers say do not cross between parked cars where it is harder for drivers to see you coming and when walking along the side of the road to use a sidewalk or the shoulder if one isn’t available.

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