SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Police are urging people on the road to stay aware, as officials say they are seeing an increase in pedestrian-involved incidents.
Savannah Police Department officials said up to seven pedestrians have been killed in the city this year.
The most recent happened over the weekend, when two men were killed in a hit-and-run on Abercorn Street. Dishan Hughes, 30, was arrested and charged with hit and run and DUI, according to Georgia State Patrol.
“For this particular month here and maybe the last month we have seen a definite increase of the pedestrians who’ve been involved in motor vehicle crashes,” said Lt. Torrance Garvin, traffic commander. “I can’t really say why we’re seeing an increase of it is, but what I can indicate is that people are not paying attention.”
Police say when you’re crossing the street, use the signal and crosswalk – and stay aware of oncoming cars. When you’re behind the wheel, officials say to keep your eyes on the road and avoid speeding to make a changing stoplight.
Ultimately, Lt. Garvin said the responsibility lies with both drivers and pedestrians.
“There’s a pedestrian at the crosswalk, motorists have to yield to the pedestrian, making sure that they can get across the crosswalk safely,” he said. “In the same sense, pedestrians cannot just walk out into a crosswalk. They have to make sure the motorist sees them and once the motorist acknowledges them, then they can safely cross that crosswalk.”
Georgia is a hands-free state for motorists. But Garvin said whether you’re behind the wheel or crossing the street, keep your phone away and stay aware of your surroundings.
“Watch out for one another,” Lt. Garvin said. “Motorists watch out for the pedestrians and pedestrians watch out for the motorists and I believe we can end this year on a very good note.”
In Pooler, police continue to look for a suspect in a hit and run that left a 56-year-old woman dead earlier this month.
Officials with the Pooler Police Department say they are looking for a gold or silver vehicle with damage on the front and missing windshield wipers. If you have any information, you’re asked to call 912-748-7333.