Too many people hit by cars in Richmond

Posted at 12:21 PM, Aug 02, 2012

Richmond, Va.  (WTVR)  - The hot asphalt of the Richmond Ambulance Authority off of Hermitage Rd. in Richmond served as an impromptu stage for Sean Burton today.  In a rhythmic beat, The RAA employee rattled off the first few lines to a rap song he’d written.

“One day you’re walking down the sidewalk, minding your own biz, texting your friends.  And cars are racing on the highway, you not knowing where the sidewalk ends.”

Burton is hoping a lot of you will hear that song that’s the background for a video being produced by the Richmond Ambulance Authority this weekend.

Later this month the streets around the VCU campus will be bustling with busy college students.  That area is just one of the hotspots where the RAA is called to often on a call of a pedestrian hit by a car.

With their music, news, email all in the palm of their hands on their digital devices, it's easy for students to be distracted and forget they’re walking in a dangerous place.  The RAA is hoping those students and others in the Richmond area will see their video on Youtube and other websites.  It's supposed to spread the message that every three or four days, a pedestrian is hit by a car around the VCU campus and in the bustling downtown Richmond area.

RAA Operations Chief Rob Lawrence says people need to simply pay attention to their surroundings on busy streets. 

"Clearly the things they have in common are people who may not be paying attention to the street”, said Lawrence. “They may be looking down texting; they may be listening to their headphones.  The message is simple; stop, look, and listen.  Listen to the traffic, not the headphones.”

The RAA plans to produce the video rather quickly, getting it out just before college students at VCU go back to school later this month.  Lawrence says that in just under the past 3 ½ years, Richmond had 374 pedestrian involved accidents.