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With pedestrian involved crashes on the rise, city officials launch safety campaign

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While the number of pedestrian involved accidents involving a moving vehicle continues to grow, the City of Grand Rapids is launching a new campaign they hope will save lives.

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, along with city officials, announced the inaugural Summer of Safety campaign on Monday aimed at eliminating traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries.

“Too many of our family members, our friends or our neighbors are being hurt or killed in crashes that we believe could be prevented,” Bliss said.

According to a press release, Grand Rapids ranks higher than the state average for pedestrian involved accidents.  

“Well unfortunately we have seen a nearly 21 percent increase in crashes between 2009 and 2016,” Grand Rapids Traffic Safety Manager Chris Zull said. “Unfortunately distractions caused by cell phone use is a major problem.”

Under current Michigan law, it’s illegal for drivers to type or read mobile devices while the vehicle is in motion. However, that law may not be widely enforced.

According to Michigan State Police, distracted driving crashes jumped up 70 percent between 2015 to 2016 across the state.