Pedestrian fatalities in Reno outpacing last year

RENO, NV (KOLO) In January 2019 a utility worker was killed after a driver struck him on South Meadows Parkway. In February 2019, one man died after crossing the road at Kietzke Lane and Vassar.

If that were all, this quarter, we would be on trend for last year. But so far we've seen a total of five pedestrian fatalities on streets in the city of Reno.

“And they really, most of our victims, have been over the age of 50 years old,“ says Lieutenant Scott Shaw with the Reno Police Traffic Division.

Shaw says in most of these cases drugs or alcohol were not factors. But there are some commonalities. Some of these pedestrians were walking out of crosswalks, at night, with dark clothing. Some were also receiving help from community assistance programs.

“Unfortunately since the beginning of the year a lot of these cases involve some sort of error by the pedestrian,” says Lieutenant Shaw.

Shaw says traditionally, in pedestrian fatalities, 50% of the time, the driver is at fault. In the other half of accidents, the pedestrian is at fault.

As the weather gets nice and the sunsets later, more pedestrians will be out on the road. That's why Reno Police have asked helped from Vision Zero--a multi-agency initiative--to come up with reflective backpacks, wrist bands and reflective tape to those in assistance programs in hopes they can be more noticeable on the street.

Reno Police recommend if you are a pedestrian, wear reflective clothing. Don’t expect the drivers to see you. Make eye contact with the driver, and use a crosswalk.

For drivers, watch your speed. Lieutenant Shaw says traveling 30 miles or more an hour gives you an 80% chance of killing someone. Expect pedestrians on the roadway. Don’t use your phone while driving, and make eye contact with the person crossing the road.

Other pedestrian fatalities Reno Police are seeing this year: three people have died on motorcycles, and one person has died on a bicycle.

That makes a total of nine pedestrian fatalities so far this year in Reno.

Last year at this time we saw 8 such fatalities.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019