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Monday, June 10, 2013

Amherst Police Department Awarded Grant to Enhance Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety


In an effort to make Amherst a safer place for our pedestrians and bicyclists, the Amherst Police Department will use a $5,000.00 grant provided by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS).  The funding is from $192,000 provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) specifically to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety.  Amherst is one of 48 police departments to receive this grant.

From 2006 to 2011, 1544 pedestrians were injured in crashes and of those 375 sustained fatal injuries, according to the Massachusetts Traffic Records Analysis Center (MassTRAC). During that same time frame, 586 bicyclists were injured in crashes with 45 resulting in death.   In 2012, there were 9 crashes involving pedestrians and 5 involving cyclists, with zero fatalities in Amherst.

 “Bicyclists and pedestrians are particularly vulnerable road users because they may not be immediately visible to drivers and unlike those in vehicles, nothing protects them from impact,” said Chief Scott P. Livingstone. “All users need to learn to share the road safely and be mindful of one another and the law.  We’ll use the grant for education, enforcement and outreach we believe will help protect our pedestrians and cyclists from injuries and fatalities.”

 The grants will fund targeted enforcement and decoy patrols, breakaway signs and crosswalk reflective tape.  A combination of enforcement techniques and equipment will help the department analyze and crack down on drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists who do not share the road appropriately, putting themselves or others in danger.

 The Amherst Police Department, in partnership with EOPSS, recognizes that traffic crashes are preventable and is committed to using this grant to reduce the number of motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries involving pedestrians and bicyclists in Amherst because any death or injury on our roadways is one too many

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