HPD Emphasizes Pedestrian Safety Along Bellaire Boulevard

Pedestrians walking in a 5 block stretch on Bellaire Boulevard in southwest Houston are being urged to be careful when crossing the street, especially at night. The warning is being stressed following the deaths of three people along that stretch of roadway.

Houston Police say 15 people have been killed in auto-pedestrian accidents across the city this year, compared to 7 during the same period last year.

Capt. Larry Baimbridge with HPD Traffic Enforcement  says the fatalities likely happened:

"Because of time, it's just quicker to run across the street at a non-designated crosswalk. Well, that's how we have some of these accidents, some of these fatalities. Take the extra time, go to the crosswalk and of course, proceed when it's safe to do so."

One fatality over the weekend involved a 40 year old man, who was at fault, because he attempted to cross the 8700 block of Bellaire Boulevard in a construction area. Baimbridge says the "DO NOT WALK" signs are posted there for a reason, but even so:

"Just because it says, 'WALK', don't assume that it's safe to do so. There may be a vehicle running a red light. Don't just look at the car, try to make eye contact with the driver so that they see you."

In one of two other auto-pedestrian fatalities on Bellaire Boulevard this year, a motorist stopped to render aid and was not at fault. The other was a hit-and-run.

Baimbridge says it's important to both see and hear vehicles when crossing.

"A lot of times we see pedestrians on their cell phone, and not just talking on the cell phone but texting. That divided attention of texting or talking on the phone can be very deadly."

He says be sure to wear light colored clothing and carry a flashlight if possible when out at night. HPD will make an effort to educate residents living in nearby apartment complexes and retirement communities, and will be issuing citations for not obeying the law.

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Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...