MILWAUKEE, Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On the heels of several high profile accidents involving pedestrians and motor vehicles, the Wisconsin law firm of Hupy and Abraham SC, has announced a public information campaign to create a greater awareness of Wisconsin and Illinois pedestrian traffic laws to educate both pedestrians and drivers.
"In 2010, the US Department of Transportation's last reporting year, 4,300 pedestrians were killed and 70,000 were injured in the United States, including over 100 fatalities in Wisconsin and Illinois," said Michael F. Hupy, a partner at Hupy and Abraham SC, headquartered in Milwaukee. "Meaning on average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes. This is an issue drivers, walkers, runners and bikers must take very seriously."
"We are about to enter the time of year when it becomes even more dangerous for pedestrians and drivers," said Hupy. "It's darker earlier. Soon we'll be seeing snow banks piled-up around intersections, roads will be icy and snow covered, perhaps covering up crosswalks. And when sidewalks become slick more and more runners take to the streets rather than running on the sidewalk."
Hupy said the law firm will produce a series of public service announcements reminding drivers that laws require them to stop for pedestrians if they are in a crosswalk, whether or not it is a controlled intersection.
"In any urban area, you will frequently see pedestrians frustrated because traffic doesn't stop as they are trying to enter the crosswalk," said Hupy. "You must stop your vehicle and yield to the pedestrian. Then you can move on."
Hupy said pedestrians also have to be aware of what's going on around them. "Walkers, runners and bikers all need to be sensitive to visibility problems, road conditions and if vehicles are turning," said Hupy. "Pedestrians and drivers must also be defensive participants."
Regarding the recent spate of hit-and-run accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians, Hupy said leaving the scene of an accident is an illegal and cowardly act. "Recently in Wisconsin and Illinois there have been several deaths and many serious injuries caused by hit-and-run drivers. Leaving someone to die along the side of the road, or not helping them receive the medical attention they require is a felony. Law enforcement will find you and the punishment will be stiff. But most importantly, if someone is injured, call for medical assistance immediately."
"Most pedestrian accidents usually happen for four reasons," said Hupy. "Failure by a driver to yield the right of way to a pedestrian at a crosswalk is one of the most common. Sometimes drivers will run a stop sign or traffic signal. Others just aren't paying attention, either talking on the phone, eating or adjusting the radio. And many times the drivers are simply speeding and can't stop or control their vehicle."
In addition, Hupy said, parents with young children should also be sensitive to pedestrian and vehicle issues. "Almost one-fifth of the children between the ages of 5 and 9 killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians," said Hupy. "And pedestrians between the ages of 16 and 30 are the ones most likely to be killed or injured by a vehicle."
The PSA has been made available to the broadcast media and can be seen on Youtube.com
For further information contact:
Craig J. Peterson
Zigman Joseph Stephenson, Inc.
Michael F. Hupy
Hupy and Abraham, SC
SOURCE Hupy and Abraham SC