Working together to reduce traffic and pedestrian-related deaths in Nevada

Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 11:55 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - October is Pedestrian Safety Month and according to the Nevada Department of Public Safety, more than 224 Nevadans have lost their lives on our roads.

Andrew Bennett, Public Information Officer with the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) said, "In Washoe County, we’re experiencing currently a 9% decrease year over year from where we were at this time last year, but that does not reflect the trend as a state. We’re currently up 21% statewide with pedestrian-related fatalities from where we were at this time last year.”

Bennett says rural counties are seeing an even bigger spike in overall deaths, including pedestrians. He added, “Pershing County, Douglas County, Humboldt, and Lander are some of the ones that are up over 100%.”

The leading factors of these incidents among people on foot include darting into the street and crossing where there’s not a crosswalk. As for drivers, impairment, speed, and distracted driving are the main causes, as well as daylight saving time.

Bennett says since the pandemic, there has been an uptick in speeding-related deaths statewide.

“Unfortunately, people took advantage of those open roadways and decided to speed, and that absolutely affected both our metro and urban populations and our rural counties as well,” Bennett said.

The Nevada OTS stresses that it’s everyone’s responsibility to make the right choices.

Bennett added, “It can’t just be another news story or another data point. These are Your loved ones and as Nevadans, we have to rally around and make sure our roadways are safe for each other.”

When it comes to friends and family, Zero Fatalities is the only acceptable number.

The Nevada OTS is also launching a School Zone Pedestrian Safety Task Force. It will consist of the Sparks and Reno Police Departments, Nevada Highway Patrol, and the Washoe County School District Police Department. This comes after more than 25 students were hit in crosswalks last school year alone in Washoe County.

For more information about the Zero Fatalities mission, click here.

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