Tag: data

Statewide Fatal Crashes in MA, January 2021

Statewide Fatal Crashes in MA, January 2021

Each month in 2021, we plan to post about the fatal crashes in Massachusetts from the previous month, and share any trends that we see. Last month, we took a look at the year 2020 in review. In this post, we’ll look at crashes in MA in January 2021. The information in the chart below is compiled from news reports, and was checked against the MassDOT Crash Portal Dashboard “Fatal Information by Year.” The Google Street View images included below use the address listed in the crash portal.

  • Of the 20 fatal crashes in Massachusetts in January in the MassDOT Crash portal, 5 were people walking.
  • 3 of those 5 crashes were hit & runs.
  • The crash portal does not include names. The names of 2 of the people walking who died have not been made public yet.
  • The name of the person driving was only identified in 1 of the 5 crashes in news articles.

Date1/2/2021, 11:00 PM
Location200 Locust St.
TownSpringfield
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age
SexM

An unidentified man was killed in a hit and run crash on Locust Street in Springfield. There have been no follow up articles that we’ve seen identifying the person who died, or anything about the person that fled the scene. WesternMassNews says the Police Department has located the car and vehicle owner, and expects more from the District Attorney’s office.


Date1/5/2021, 11:30 AM
LocationChelsea St. + 13th St.
TownBoston
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age92
SexM

Francis McGrath, a 92 year old man, was killed in a hit and run crash on Chelsea Street in Charlestown. The driver dragged him for nearly a mile. The crash location is listed as Chelsea St & 13th (entrance to the Charlestown Navy Yard), while StreetsblogMass reports the Boston Police said it happened even further back at Chelsea St & Terminal St. While there had been speculation that the driver of a large truck was involved, there have been no follow up articles that we’ve seen about the person that left the scene. We spoke to the Boston Herald about the safety issues large vehicles present for people walking/biking, and the increase of drivers speeding during the coronavirus pandemic.


Date1/13/2021, 7:19 PM
Location235 Main St.
TownOxford
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age55
SexF

Wendy Hibbard was crossing Main Street in Oxford when a driver hit and killed her. Based on Google Maps Street View, a crosswalk across Main Street was made ADA-compliant sometime between October 2018 and October 2019. The street is one lane in each direction with a sidewalk on each side, but it looks to be approximately 50 feet from curb to curb using the measuring tool on Google Maps. According to the MassDOT Road Inventory, Main Street/Rt12 is under MassDOT jurisdiction.


Date1/19/2021, 9:30 PM
Location38 Upland Rd.
TownBelmont
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age35
SexM

District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office shared on January 25th that Dean Kapsalis, 54 of Hudson, will face additional charges of murder and leaving the scene causing death in connection with striking and killing Henry Tapia on Upland Road in Belmont. Kapsalis was previously arraigned on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a civil rights violation causing injury and leaving the scene causing injury. The Boston Globe reported that “since getting a driver’s license around 1987, Kapsalis has been cited for speeding at least 17 times, was involved in at least 7 surcharge crashes, and had his right to drive suspended at least 6 times, usually for a cluster of traffic violations in a short period of time, according to RMV records.”


Date1/23/2021, 8:42 PM
Location687 Ocean St.
TownMarshfield
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age56
SexM

An unidentified 56 year old Marshfield man was hit and killed on Ocean Street in Marshfield. An article from 95.9 WATD quotes a police lieutenant that the “early investigation shows the victim was walking in the roadway along a dark stretch.” The street is one lane in each direction, but there is only a sidewalk on one side of the street.


Updates

If you have an update about a community member who was killed in one of these crashes, please contact Brendan so we can update our . WalkBoston has maintained a list each year since 2016, pulling the information from news reports, social media, and from people like you that share the information with us.

Yearly trackers:  |||||


Reminder about the data from the MassDOT portal

DISCLAIMER:  The compilation of data is based on preliminary data we receive from a variety of local sources.  Some of the data may differ slightly from information provided by NHTSA as this dashboard does not use imputation methods.  Information is subject to change when/if updated information becomes available. Data updated daily as reported by police departments.

2020 Statewide Fatal Crashes – Year in Review

2020 Statewide Fatal Crashes – Year in Review

Each month in 2021, we plan to post about the fatal crashes from the previous month, and share any trends that we see. For January, we wanted to look back at the previous year. The information in the chart below is taken from the MassDOT Crash Portal Dashboard “Fatal Information by Year.”

Type20192020
Bicyclist510
Motorcycle operator4751
Motorcycle passenger23
Operator166186
Other12
Passenger3833
Pedestrian7650
Total Fatal Crashes335335

There were 335 fatal crashes statewide in Massachusetts in 2020, the same number of people that died on Massachusetts roads as in 2019.

This dangerous trend was identified as early as May, and MassDOT urged people driving to slow down. At the time, MassDOT reported that the rate of fatalities on Massachusetts roadways doubled in April: with 50% less traffic recorded on major highways, 28 individuals died in crashes, compared with the month of April 2019 when there were 27 deaths on roadways in the state. Later in the year, we helped develop PSA graphics through the Department of Public Health’s Mass in Motion program for use by community coordinators focused on drivers & the need to slow down for everyone’s safety.

There were significantly less fatal pedestrian crashes this year than last year – but almost every other mode of transportation saw higher fatal crashes.

Pedestrian Fatalities by Age in 2020? Disproportionately older adults. 

Adults 65+ accounted for 40% of the pedestrian fatalities in the last year. How does that compare to the population? According to the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative’s 2018 MA Healthy Aging Data Report, about 15% of people in Massachusetts are age 65+.

Chart from MassDOT crash portal – Pedestrian Fatalities by Age in 2020. Available at https://apps.impact.dot.state.ma.us/cdp/dashboard-view/39

The includes names of many of the 58 people walking who were hit/killed in 2020.

If you have an update about a community member who was killed in one of these crashes, please contact Brendan so we can update the list. WalkBoston has maintained a list each year since 2016, pulling the information from news reports, social media, and from people like you that share the information with us. Yearly trackers:  | | | | |

The MassDOT portal says 50 for 2020, but the WalkBoston list says 58. Why the discrepancy?

It is possible there were crashes that were not on roadways. We compile our pedestrian crash fatality list manually via news & social media alerts in order to give communities more information to help push for safer streets, and to make sure to remember there are people behind the statistics. The MassDOT list may categorize crashes differently, just as the city of Boston Vision Zero Map does not include fatal crashes that take place on state roads, private property, or crashes on commuter rail tracks. (For example: the WalkBoston list includes Bernardin Etienne, 62, who was struck & killed in the MBTA Bus Yard in Charlestown on September 21st; Bernardin isn’t included on either MassDOT or BTD’s list since it took place in a parking lot.) Additional disclaimer from MassDOT crash portal: The compilation of data is based on preliminary data we receive from a variety of local sources. Some of the data may differ slightly from information provided by NHTSA as this dashboard does not use imputation methods. Information is subject to change when/if updated information becomes available.

The rolling 5 year average for pedestrian fatalities in Massachusetts will drop from 77 for the 2015-2019 period to 70 for the 2016-2020 period, the lowest 5 year average since 2009-2013.

These Performance Measures Were Developed By The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). You can access any state’s data at this link.

AAA Foundation Virtual Town Hall: Monday, February 1st, 11am

On Monday, February 1st at 11am, Executive Director Stacey Beuttell will be a panelist for the AAA Northeast Virtual Town Hall which will feature their recent study “Tread Carefully: Examining the Rise in Pedestrian Deaths,” examining data from 2009-2018. You can sign up here & ask a question in advance.

WGBH News – “Why Don’t The Boston Police Report Traffic Crash Data?”

WGBH News – “Why Don’t The Boston Police Report Traffic Crash Data?”

WGBH News: “Why Don’t The Boston Police Report Traffic Crash Data?

“It’s a real issue,” says Brendan Kearney, a spokesperson for Walk Boston, a pedestrian advocacy group.

The standardized crash data reported to the state by every other municipality, says Kearney, informs not just reports but state-funded improvement projects and studies, called “safety audits.”

“If they’re not sending in all this full police report data,” Kearney points out, key crash sites “could possibly be missing from some of these road safety audits.”

Posted January 24, 2019

Senate Passes Bill to Improve Traffic Safety & Protect Vulnerable Road Users

Senate Passes Bill to Improve Traffic Safety & Protect Vulnerable Road Users

BOSTON — The Massachusetts State Senate voted Thursday to pass legislation that aims to create safer streets for all road users. Developed in collaboration with a coalition of bicycle, pedestrian and transportation advocates, S.2570, An Act to reduce traffic fatalities, includes several measures to improve road safety, lessen the severity of crashes, and standardize the collection and analysis of crash data.

The bill classifies several groups, including pedestrians, utility workers, first responders and cyclists, as “vulnerable road users,” and requires motor vehicles to apply a “safe passing distance” of at least three feet when traveling 30 miles per hour or less with an additional foot of clearance required for every 10 miles per hour over 30 miles per hour. Current law only requires motor vehicle operators to pass at “a safe distance and at a reasonable and proper speed.” The bill would further require a vehicle that is overtaking a vulnerable road user to use all or part of the adjacent lane, crossing the center line if necessary, when it cannot pass at a safe distance in the same lane and only when it is safe to do so.

“We need to keep working year after year to achieve a future in which traffic fatalities get as close as possible to zero,” said Senator William N. Brownsberger (D-Belmont), lead sponsor of the bill in the Senate. “This bill will help us move in the right direction.”

“This legislation updates basic protections for pedestrians, cyclists and others who may be on the road, and is a common-sense policy to ensure safer roadways for pedestrians and drivers alike” said Senate President Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “I am very happy the Senate has passed this legislation.”

“This bill takes an important step in encouraging the use of multimodal transportation to relieve the congestion and reduce our state’s carbon footprint,” said Senator Joseph A. Boncore (D-Winthrop), who serves as the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation, which advanced the legislative measure forward with a favorable recommendation earlier this year. “Ensuring that pedestrians and cyclists have more protections on shared roads is vital to that end.”

The bill would require certain large vehicles newly purchased, leased or operated pursuant to a contract with the Commonwealth to be equipped with lateral protective devices to eliminate a vehicle’s high ground clearance and the extraordinary risk posed to vulnerable road users, who are susceptible to slipping underneath large vehicles during accidents. Such large vehicles would also be required to utilize convex and cross-over mirrors to increase a driver’s ability to see around their vehicle. These provisions would apply to vehicles purchased or leased by the Commonwealth after January 1, 2019 and to vehicles operating pursuant to leases entered into January 1, 2020.

MassBike congratulates the Senate on the passage of An Act to reduce traffic fatalities,” said Galen Mook, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition. “We have seen too many unnecessary and completely preventable fatalities on our roads, and MassBike believes this legislation provides distinct safety elements for cyclists across the Commonwealth, including defining that vehicles must pass cyclists at ‘a safe distance’ of at least three feet, and requiring sideguards on large vehicles to protect vulnerable road users from the dreaded ‘right hook.’ MassBike is grateful for the collaborative work of Senator Brownsberger and all of the advocacy organizations, and we thank everyone for the continued persistence to protect all cyclists and pedestrians across the state. Though we have not yet finished our work, this bill goes a long way toward the goal of zero deaths on our streets.”

The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security would be required to develop a standardized analysis tool to report crashes and incidents involving a vulnerable road user and maintain a publicly accessible database of such reports to help inform further efforts to reduce traffic fatalities.

WalkBoston is thrilled that the Senate has passed An act to reduce traffic fatalities, which includes elements to immediately improve the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists and all vulnerable road users across the Commonwealth,” said Wendy Landman, Executive Director of WalkBoston. “The data collection and analysis requirement will help communities focus their road safety efforts on the places that need it the most.”

The bill would establish a 25 mile per hour speed limit on an unposted area of state highway or parkway inside a thickly settled or business district within a city or town that has accepted the 25 mile per hour local option, as lower vehicle speeds reduce the severity of crashes. While current law requires persons riding bicycles at night to use a front white light, this bill would also require use of both a red rear light and a red rear reflector when riding at night to improve the visibility of bicyclists.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

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Originally posted by Senator Brownsberger’s Office