ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Frances Cole knows firsthand the pain of unexpectedly losing a loved one as a result of a crash.
Her mother, Dr. Jennifer Cole, was riding her bicycle last July when she was struck and killed by a motorist.
“In two weeks, my mom won’t be there when my sister graduates from St. Louis University,” Frances Cole said during an event outside the Missouri History Museum Thursday morning. “And in October when I walk down the aisle and get married, I’m not going to have my mom there.”
The Missouri Department of Transportation, Trailnet and Metro Transit are partnering to kick off the “Safe Roads for All” initiative during the month of May.
The idea is to enforce the need for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to share the road and be aware of one another’s safety.
Leaders of each organization led a safety ride/walk/drive from the museum into downtown St. Louis to stress their point.
In the past few years, pedestrian fatalities comprise 8% of Missouri’s traffic crash fatalities.
There were 2,483 people killed in Missouri traffic crashes from 2009 to 2011, 203 of those pedestrians.
Another 1,271 pedestrians were injured in Missouri traffic crashes from ’09 to ’11.
Metro Director John Nations told those gathered at the museum that distraction isn’t just a problem for drivers in this age of smart phones and portable music devices with sound-dampening headsets.
“We want to use this opportunity to encourage safety when around Metro vehicles,” Nations pointed out. “For example, running through traffic to catch a train or driving around barriers to try and beat a train is never a smart choice.”
All this comes one week after 23-year-old Amber Wood was struck and killed by a speeding car, which left the scene, as she attempted to walk across Broadway just south of Busch Stadium.