York City Police partner up for pedestrian safety

York City Police, the Center for Traffic Safety and other city entities have teamed up to help keep pedestrians safe.

Nicole Smith, a specialist with the city's Health Bureau, said statistics show there is a pedestrian death about every 90 minutes in the country.

"These numbers continue to increase year after year, which makes this a serious health concern," she said.

On Friday, Aug. 10, officials held a news conference to highlight pedestrian safety.

York City Police Officer Rich Kehler III, left, looks on after dispatching an officer to pursue a driver who violated pedestrian safety laws in a crosswalk at the intersection of North George Street and Clarke Avenue in York City, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert

York City: Officer Derek Hartman, who is assigned to the downtown district, said there were 185 crashes in the area between Jan. 1, 2017, and Aug. 9, 2017. Eight of them involved pedestrians, he said.

During that same time period this year, the number of crashes decreased to about 100 crashes, but there were still eight involving pedestrians. 

Hartman said the police department receives numerous complaints from both drivers and pedestrians about the downtown district. 

The officer noted that if a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, vehicles have to yield for them.

“That does not however mean a pedestrian that is crossing the street can just suddenly step out in front of anyone," Hartman added.

Hartman said the department has been conducting aggressive driving details in the city. He said authorities have the details in the area when there is a lot of pedestrian traffic, such as during a trial term at the courthouse.

They held a detail during the day of the news conference near South George Street and West Clarke Avenue. 

Jeff Bowman, law enforcement liaison for the Center for Traffic Safety, said more than 200 police departments, including York City, receive funding through an aggressive driving grant. 

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.