Pedestrian Deaths on the Rise in Reno

By: Denise Wong Email
By: Denise Wong Email

RENO, NV - Reno police say it's been one of the deadliest years for pedestrians in recent years. In a city that normally experiences one or two pedestrian deaths by this time each year, the number is already at eight.

"It's kind of nerve-racking," says Judy Cox. "It didn't look like they wanted to stop for us."

Judy Cox and her husband had a tough time getting across South Virginia Street in downtown Reno around lunch time.

"I felt scared," says Cox. "And my husband did, too, because he grabbed my arm."

"Walking across the street, it was a little intimidating," confirms Courtney Cox, Judy's husband.

The couple says traffic seemed to fly by. That's something UNR students living near the dorms also say hapens.

"Drivers need to be more aware," says Abel Johnson, a UNR junior. "Especially because there are a lot of students crossing and they should just pay attention."

It may seem strange to have to warn drivers about pedestrians. But Reno Police say there's no better time than now, in light of all of the deadly accidents involving pedestrians.

"The stats show we're up more than 700-percent," says Sgt. Jim Stegmaier, with the Reno Police Department Traffic Division.

Just last week, two pedestrians were killed. On Thursday, a woman was walking across the parking lot of the Town House Motor Lodge when she was hit by a Ford Focus. Two days later, police say a woman walked into traffic on Virginia Street and Talus. So what's behind all of the recent pedestrian accidents?

"We've looked for a common denominator and what we're seeing is that it's inattention," says Sgt. Stegmaier. "Whether it's the pedestrian or the driver."

And with more distractions at our fingertips, police say everyone - on foot and on wheels - needs to pay more attention.

Reno Police also say that in 7 of the 8 pedestrian deaths this year, the pedestrian was the one at fault. They're hoping, as people turn back their clocks this fall and nightfall comes earlier, pedestrians will consider dressing in lighter colored clothing - and drivers will pay more attention.

Reno Police say there is no area that is more dangerous than others for people walking aroun


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