DETROIT (WJBK) - The Michigan Department of Transportation is kicking off a new campaign in efforts to lower the number of crashes in a Detroit neighborhood.
It's a dangerous site on Davison Avenue that happens way too often. While FOX 2 cameras were rolling for this story, we saw several people jaywalking to save a couple seconds.
"Sometimes we're all so focused on what we're doing that there's a tunnel vision; you just have to get across the street, or you have to get to the bus or whatever, not realizing the bigger picture," says Diane Crosse of MDOT.
"You cross the street in the middle of the street 20 times in a row and there's no problem, but on the 21st time there's an accident? You lose against the car," says Jason Hanson, a former Detroit Lion. He went from kicker to safety for Friday's Safety Blitz.
The goal of the new campaign is to try to get people to change the way they drive and walk on this two mile stretch between Interstate-96 and M-10. In the last five years, 910 crashes have happened and at least 20 of them were deadly or had life-altering results.
"On October 12, 2007, a 16-year-old boy was walking his 8-year-old sister to school and they both were hit. Initially it was a hit-and-run driver, and either was caught or decided to turn himself in. But that's when the first [pedestrian] island came up" says Gina Morman. Her neighbor lost two of her three kids in that instant. That story is just a sample of the heartbreak that can come from crossing in the middle of the street or from driving too fast.
MDOT recently improved the road markings so things like turn lanes are more obvious, and added and repainted the pedestrian islands so they are clear as day. You also couldn't miss on Friday the volunteers wearing bright green shirts spreading the safety message.
Many of the businesses along Davison are also getting involved by spreading the word. MDOT says it plans to get the message in some of the schools in the coming weeks to stress the importance of using crosswalks to the students.