With various stay-at-home and social-distancing measures in place because of COVID-19, many of our neighbors have been spending more time outdoors. Taking an evening or early morning stroll, biking, or running have been popular activities during this time. Of course, more people outdoors also means that motorists need to be more cautious of people crossing streets and in bike lanes. Pedestrians also need to be safe while having fun or enjoying fresh air outdoors, but sometimes Maine pedestrian accidents happen even when all safety precautions are taken.
Based on a report from the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, pedestrian crashes and fatalities in the state have remained consistent over the years. Additionally, based on a recent article, Maine has seen a rise in the number of pedestrian deaths since 2019, leading state authorities to establishing more concrete action items toward eliminating motor vehicle-related fatalities.
In an effort to address this public safety issue, the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety has begun offering grants to law enforcement in communities in the state with higher occurrences of pedestrian crashes. State authorities tasked with addressing the issue have observed various causes for the increase in numbers. Some constituents have reported that motorists driving too fast, going over speed limits. Others have urged local authorities to re-evaluate current speed limits and potentially lower them because these limits have discouraged people from wanting to take a walk or ride a bike because of safety concerns.