2013 signals troubling trend for traffic fatalities - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

2013 signals troubling trend for traffic fatalities

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Despite the efforts of police and the statewide Zero Fatalities Nevada campaign, 2013 has been a deadly year on southern Nevada roads.

On Thursday night alone, two pedestrians were killed within hours of each other.

Following a five-year downturn, the number of fatalities is rising. There have been 180 road fatalities in Clark County so far this year. Last year at this time, there were 167.

"This year we are doing better with occupant fatalities, but we are doing horribly with alternative road users, which are pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists," said Erin Breen, director of Safe Community Partnership.

2013 has so far seen 50 pedestrian fatalities, up from 42 last year.

"Anytime an alternative road user comes into contact with a motor vehicle, the alternative road user loses that battle," Breen said.

Also staggering, according to Breen, is the number of motorcycle fatalities. Last year saw 25. This year 38 motorcyclists have been killed. Breen said the victims are getting younger and speed is a factor.

"Pedestrians, bicyclist and motorcyclists – even if you're doing everything right, you have to be extra cautious for those drivers who aren't, so that you don't lose your life," she said.

Metro public information officer Laura Meltzer said there have been 44 fatal pedestrian accidents in the police department's jurisdiction alone this year, up from 40 last year. She said that most of the time pedestrian error is the culprit.

"Many of these accidents are extremely preventable by simply paying attention to what's going on around you as well as paying attention to all of the traffic speed limit signs, as well as traffic control devices," Meltzer said.

Meltzer said the holidays are especially dangerous for pedestrians.

"People are out in shopping centers and there is a lot more traffic than there normally is, so even on private property be careful when you're crossing to go into a store and make sure that you're looking for cars and that they see you before crossing in front of the stores," she said.

Impaired drivers are another big concern during the holidays. It's always best to designate a driver or pay for a cab.

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