RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) –This public safety announcement, featuring a cameo appearance by Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones, also targets distracted drivers in an effort to reduce the ever growing number of pedestrians and cyclists hit by cars while crossing the street.
Over the past 1,269 days, the Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) reports they have taken 374 pedestrians to the hospital after being struck by a vehicle.
To curb this number, the RAA produced a music video to warn Richmonders about the dangers of distractions like texting while walking down the street.
“A pedestrian is hit by a vehicle once every three or four days here in Richmond,” said Chip Decker, CEO of the Richmond Ambulance Authority. “This is an alarming statistic and recent national news articles indicate that incidents involving distracted pedestrians and drivers are on the rise throughout the United States.”
“We hope this YouTube PSA will draw widespread attention to this problem and reduce the number of pedestrians killed or injured while crossing the street,” added Decker.
Sean Burton, who works in the billing department for RAA, helped to write and produce the song as a part of the “Crossing Alert Campaign.”
The composer and producer of the song, Reginald Smith, is from Coatesville, Va. He has worked with major tists such as 50 Cent, Mario, Trey Songz and various independent artists, local acts and aspiring musicians.
“I think it’s going to go viral and a lot of people are going to like it,” said Burton. “Hopefully, it will lessen the percentage of people getting hit by cars. I think it will have a huge impact.”
The video will be marketed using social media as a tool to spread its message. For Burton, he hopes his song will have a larger impact than just in Richmond and he is hopeful it will could be used nationally.
Crossing Alert was funded with a $5,000 FEMA grant.
Here is a list of problematic “hot spots” for pedestrians in Richmond from the RAA:
- East Main Street at North 26th Street
- Hull Street at East 34th Street
- 1900 block of Mechanicsville Turnpike
- 2000 block of Creighton Road
- East Brookland Park Boulevard at North Avenue
- Mechanicsville Turnpike at Cool Lane
- 1000 block of West Broad Street
- 3000 block of Hull Street
- 7000 block of Forest Hill Avenue
- 3500 block of Grove Avenue
- Hull Street Road at Warwick Road
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