Campaign Targets Distracted Drivers AND Pedestrians

RENO, NV - Ask anyone to identify the most dangerous intersection in Reno and it's unlikely Plumb Lane and Harvard Way will be named by many.

However, it tops the Reno Police Department's most recent list.

This intersection has seen 10 crashes in the past three months. That's three more than the next most dangerous, McCarran at North Virginia.

Ask Reno police why and they will mention the obvious.
It is adjacent to Wooster High School, but it shares some of the same hazards, you'll see all over town.

"The majority of the crashes we see are driver inattention," says Reno Police Sgt. Joe Robinson. "They are very avoidable if the driver would just pay attention to driving and not so much to the cell phone or the radio or all of the other distractions that can be caused when you're driving."

Expect to be reminded of those hazards and others as you drive around town in the coming months.

The Department of Transportation has launched a new traffic safety campaign, "Zero Fatalities" with billboards at some of the busiest and most dangerous locations.

We've heard some of these messages for decades. Don't drive while impaired. Buckle up.

But others represent newly increased dangers on our roads. Distracted driving and the rise of serious pedestrian accidents.

"Nine times out of ten, you tend to miss a light turn red when messing with your GPS instead of looking at the road or looking to at that phone call you missed on your cell phone," says Robinson.

But, he says, walking while distracted is also part of the problem.

"It's the same thing as the drivers, a lot of inattention on the pedestrian's part as well. You know messing with their cell phones also. They've heard from day one that pedestrians have the right of way, but pedestrians have a lot of culpability in these accidents."

Of 17 fatalities in Reno last year, eleven involved pedestrians. Already this year of four fatalities, three were pedestrians.

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