Warren County’s Traffic Safety Board plans to take part in a statewide push next year to increase awareness toward pedestrian safety issues around the region.
The board, made up of law enforcement personnel and county leaders, oversees the county’s STOP-DWI program and implements state traffic safety plans, including those prioritized by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The committee provides millions of dollars of funding each year for traffic safety programs statewide.
Patti Miller, the county’s STOP-DWI coordinator and executive secretary of the Traffic Safety Board, said the board’s priority next year will be pedestrian safety efforts.
The Traffic Safety Board will have tables with educational materials at a number of upcoming events, including the state high school volleyball tournament at Cool Insuring Arena this weekend, as well as banners for use at area schools.
More funding is anticipated for efforts by police to monitor crosswalks, and potentially more warning signs for crosswalks. Signs with solar-powered flashing lights are increasingly being used to warn drivers of upcoming crosswalks.
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Warrensburg Supervisor Kevin Geraghty, a member of the Traffic Safety Board, said the Warrensburg Town Board has looked into purchasing flashing pedestrian crossing signs. But the cost of nearly $10,000 apiece was prohibitive, he said.
He said the town has tried the smaller signs that are placed in the middle of the road, but it did not work so well. Main Street is too narrow, he explained.
“When we put up those signs in the middle of Main Street, they get destroyed in a half-hour,” he said. “They come up with some good ideas, but they are cost-prohibitive to buy.”
New York has averaged nearly 300 pedestrian deaths annually in recent years, according to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.