LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Louisiana continues to have one of the highest rates of pedestrian deaths in the U.S.

State Representative Vicent Pierre (D) Lafayette says he has seen and heard the need in the Lafayette community to address pedestrian safety.

“We probably would have to beef up the security enforcement to ensure that people are moving across these crosswalks in a safe-like manner. I don’t think it is an issue of the districts. I think it’s an issue of the entire state.”

Pierre said he understands people with transportation issues and who don’t own a car to move from one place to another, so they have to walk. 

“It’s not Department of Transportation issue. It’s that the folks that are using the crosswalk have to ensure that they’re crossing during a safe time,” he said. 

He said drivers need to slow down in these crosswalks, specifically around busy intersections. Look right and left on both sides. Other tips such as following the lighting, following the instructions, and knowing when it’s the right time to cross and when it’s not. Also, people should be very conscious or make sure that they check to make sure that those lights are available to cross. 

The latest pedestrian in early April happened near Moss Street where one person was hit by a car. 

“That is unfortunate and not only is it happening in Lafayette, and one of the things we ask law enforcement to do is just ensure that they are enforcing that law that if someone crosses, those crosswalks when they’re not supposed to then they should be fined.”

Jeanette Wickham, a concerned resident, said drivers should be held accountable for hitting pedestrians. 

“They need to have that incident out in their driver’s record with the DMV that this person has got into an accident with a pedestrian. It wasn’t their fault, but it happened,” she said. 

Pierre said legislators are developing laws to ensure situations such as the crosswalks are being monitored. 

“That is always a way in which you can enforce or help reduce those accidents, but that’s also laws we would have to introduce to try to make that happen,” he said.

“I think at the end of the day, it’s going to be to enforce it. Will that change the accidents? We don’t know because I haven’t seen any statistics that show it, but we have to ensure that those crosswalks are enforced.”