Nevada Declares Epidemic Of Pedestrian Deaths
Already this year, there have been 19 pedestrian deaths in Nevada, a 46 percent increase from the same period last year. Last year, 92 pedestrians died.
According to the the Nevada Department of Transportation pedestrian fatalities have reached an epidemic level, outpacing those deaths from HIV, breast cancer and influenza.
In response, NDOT is launching ePEDemic.org, a website and awareness campaign to try to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths in Nevada.
The campaign will include billboards, radio announcements, digital ads and social media posts in Southern Nevada, reminding people of common sense practices for crossing the street and looking out for pedestrians.
Tony Illia with NDOT told KNPR's State of Nevada that some of the common sense things pedestrians need to keep in mind include making eye contact with drivers, avoiding distractions, crossing in crosswalks, and looking both ways.
As for drivers, they should drive alert, not pass a stopped car, follow signs and signals, slow down, and of course, never drink and drive.
Illia said teaching some of the basics of safe walking and safe driving is part of the department's education effort.
NDOT also works on enforcement efforts and engineering better streets.
On the engineering front, Illia said they are working to improve some of the most problematic areas, including along Boulder Highway, East Charleston Boulevard and East Lake Mead Boulevard.
All of those sections are in older parts of the city, which Illia said play a part in how they were engineered.
"What we initial designed and built the road for, the character of the neighborhood has changed," he said, "It has simple seen more pedestrian traffic and more motorists and as a result we need to go back in and tweak the usage accordingly."
Tony Illia, public information officer, Nevada Department of Transportation