Officials in Brockton, Massachusetts, Seeking to Prevent Pedestrian Crashes

7 people have been hit and killed and another 75 have been hurt this year alone

A spike in pedestrian vs. car accidents has officials in one Massachusetts city rolling out new ideas to curb them.

Among the plans being proposed in Brockton, where seven people have been hit and killed and another 75 hurt, are so-called scarecrow police cruisers with officers not in them to get drivers to slow down; better clearing of brush so that people will walk on sidewalks; and possibly upgrading traffic signals on major roads, such as Belmont Street.

"Pedestrian walkers and biking fatalities are rising nationwide," said Major Anthony Thomas, of the Massachusetts State Police.

Officials are aiming for an end the heartbreak and tragedy that comes along with scenes such as the one on East Ashland Street last month, which was yet another hit-and-run fatality in the city.

However, many have been fatal pedestrian accidents in which the driver stopped, such as when 3-year-old Casiam Modesto ran into the road in August.

Perhaps the most highly publicized crash this year was the late September night when Carl Yancey, a man described as being so full of life, lost his.

"He was a great person, he just left us too soon," Yancey's mother Darhl Ellison said.

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Brockton city leaders have come up with a joint effort to reach out to school children, adult pedestrians, bus drivers and commuters in multiple languages.

"Mass DOT will also partner with us in this campaign by bringing some electronic message boards into the city to carry pedestrian safety messages," Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter said.

Police will also increase foot patrols; signage of all state highways in Brockton will be reviewed. Officials say there will also be a pedestrian/bike safety video competition for kids and a concerted effort to stop texting and driving, biking and walking.

"We're an undermanned department. We're going to put most all of our resources that we can into combating and heading this thing off, eyeball to eyeball," said Brockton Police Chief Bob Hayden.

State troopers will also add traffic patrols in the city during the day.

The hit and run from last September that killed Carl Yancey is still unsolved. There is a Justice for Carl reward of $5,000 leading to arrest and conviction of the person responsible. 

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