Houston Police Department
With Sharp Increase in Pedestrian Fatalities, HPD Emphasizes Safety and Awareness

February 18, 2014 - Houston police are urging pedestrians to be extra cautious, especially at night, following the death of a third pedestrian in a five-block stretch on Bellaire Boulevard in the past month and a rise in pedestrian deaths citywide so far this year.

The latest fatality involving a pedestrian happened about 5:55 a.m. on Saturday (Feb. 15) in the 8700 block of Bellaire Boulevard, in a construction area. The male pedestrian, 40, was at fault and tried to cross the street not at a crosswalk. However, the driver of the striking vehicle did not stop and fled the scene.

Almost one third of the 44 traffic fatality victims this year have been pedestrians (15) compared with 7 pedestrians killed at the same time last year among the 30 fatalities reported.

HPD Captains James Dale of the Midwest Patrol Division and Larry Baimbridge of the Traffic Enforcement Division urge pedestrians to follow common sense safety tips to avoid becoming victims of traffic accidents. Among them:

  • Do not walk across the street unless you are at a crosswalk.
  • Take the extra minute or two to walk to a crosswalk.
  • Obey traffic signals of Walk / Don't Walk.
  • Look before you step.
  • Do not assume vehicles will stop. Make eye contact with a driver; don't just look at a vehicle.
  • Dress to be seen. Wear light colored clothing if walking at night and carry a flashlight, if possible.
  • Do not wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while walking across the street.
  • Be especially careful in construction zones.

In addition to last Saturday's fatal accident, two other deadly wrecks have occurred on Bellaire Boulevard this year. The first was about 9:55 a.m. on January 15 in the 9200 block of Bellaire involving the death of a male pedestrian, 79. The motorist stopped to render aid and found not to be at-fault in the accident. The second deadly accident was a hit-and-run of a male pedestrian, 28, that happened about 4:45 a.m. on February 9. The driver fled the scene. Debris at the scene indicated the striking vehicle might have been a Toyota.

Motorists are reminded to be cautious when driving on busy roadways and to be on the lookout for pedestrians. Any motorist who strikes a pedestrian must stop and render aid or else face a felony charge for leaving the scene.

Anyone with information on suspects in these or any hit-and-run accident in the city is urged to contact the HPD Hit and Run Unit at 713-247-4065 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

JFC/MLC/AMD 2-18-14

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.