GREENBELT, Md. (DC News Now) — There’s an increase in deadly pedestrian crashes so far this year in Prince George’s County compared to last year. Traffic safety advocates are calling on leaders and drivers to take accountability.

Prince George’s County Police are investigating a hit and run in Greenbelt that killed a 22-year-old. Around 1:55 a.m. on Wednesday Zarek Lynch was walking along Greenbelt Rd. near Kenilworth Avenue car struck him and drove off. Police say Lynch was pronounced dead on the scene.

This is one of many fatal pedestrian crashes the county has seen so far this year. As of last week, PGPD has handled more than 19 fatal pedestrian collisions. Last year, they handled a total of 15. This does not include areas that PGPD has no jurisdiction over.

“Cars can be a wonderful service, they can be a terrible master,” said Reverend Dr. Robert Screen is a member of the MD 210 Traffic Safety Committee. They focus on areas surrounded by Indian Head Highway.

“A lot of people get hooked, addicted to the very elusive performance and high speeds that are a part associated with cars. Unfortunately when they going at hyper speed, which is one of the issues that we have here in Prince George’s County you know, it’s just going to be a terrible outcome when it comes to pedestrian other vehicles,” he said.

Indianhead Highway has seen several fatal pedestrian crashes over the past years, PGPD says there have been 4 so far this year. Screen says there needs to be more accountability from all angles.

“If you’re doing 67 miles per hour, you get a $40 ticket. If you’re doing 168 miles per hour, you get a $40 ticket. Where is the deterrence? So we’re trying to get the cameras to have something kind of parallel to what you would get as a cruiser patrolman that would pull somebody over,” he said. “If we want to really see a change as a society, each one of us must sign up to be a change and being a change is the things that we can do.”

Advocates say they want drivers to be more aware of the life-changing impact it has on families.
“This is a sudden loss. Somebody’s here today and they’re going the next moment. The thing of is the irony of it can be prevented,” he said.

The committee says they will continue to press leaders about cracking down on unsafe drivers.