Columbus Police working to bring awareness to city’s reputation for pedestrian deaths

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COLUMBUS, Ga (WRBL)- It’s a reputation that the Fountain City never wanted, but one for which it’s widely known.  Police say Columbus is infamous statewide for pedestrian deaths in Georgia.

But the reason, according to law enforcement officers who patrol Columbus streets, is two-fold.  Both pedestrians and drivers share responsibility for following the law and doing the right thing.

First, police say pedestrians must follow the rules of the road in the interest of safety.

“Pedestrians clearly are not utilizing the crosswalks, the crossing lights, or the camera systems the city and state have spent millions of dollars putting in place for their own safety,” said Lt. Lance Deaton of the Columbus Police Department.

So far, six Columbus pedestrians have died in 2020.

Lt. Deaton identified two trouble spots in Columbus when it comes to accidents involving pedestrians:  Veteran’s Pkwy. and Victory Dr.

Columbus also sees several hit-and-runs.  The most recent one claimed the life of 40-year-old mother of four, Jayme Tarver.

Tarver’s family feels devastated by her sudden loss.

“First thing I did was pray and ask God to strengthen us and let his will be done,” said Rosia Cochran, Tarver’s aunt.

“At the end of the day, that’s my mom and she can’t be replaced,” said Tarver’s son Jacorey Tarver. “I can’t get another one.”

Lt. Deaton says there are no excuses for people to leave the scene of an accident, especially when they have harmed someone else.

“They get afraid or get nervous and don’t know what to do.  What to do is, stay,” said Deaton. “Be a good human being and render aid and call it in.”

Police have increased traffic patrols to help combat the number of pedestrian fatalities.  Columbus Police have partnered with the Georgia Department of Transportation to conduct a study on city lights and other traffic safety concerns to reduce pedestrian accidents.

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