Share the Road Safely

2By Stephanie Lyte

Pedestrian fatalities have increased on Nevada roadways. Many factors are responsible for this, particularly pedestrian and driver negligence.

“As a pedestrian I don’t always follow the rules of the road,” said Chauntell McCoy, a Las Vegas resident. “But I have been trying to more often due to all the accidents.”

“I follow most of the rules of the street when I am a pedestrian,” said Keisha Phillips, a College of Southern Nevada student. A reason she thinks the rates of pedestrian fatalities have gone up is because people are not paying attention to their surroundings. She’s seen people on phones and putting on makeup while on the roads.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s traffic-bureau report dated Oct. 2014 showed 37 percent of fatal traffic incidents involved pedestrians, of which 28 percent were due to pedestrian error.

NDOT Statistics

NDOT Statistics

According to Nevada Department of Transportation 70 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2013. This was an increase of 18.6 percent from 2012.In response, NDOT launched the Zero Fatalities campaign.

“Zero Fatalities is all about eliminating fatalities on our roadways,” stated the pledge on the campaign’s website. “Some people may think zero is an impossible goal, but when it comes to your family and friends, what other number would be acceptable? We’re aiming for zero fatalities because everyone matters.”

One of the aspects of the campaign is to increase awareness and responsible behaviors for pedestrians and drivers. One of the tips is to avoid being distracted while on the roads.

“I was almost hit by a car today,” said Gaity Wohab, a CSN student. “I was playing on my phone while crossing the street not paying attention. I walked right off of the curb and didn’t even notice the car until he started honking at me.”

“I think drivers are watching out for me,” said Kenza Benmlih, a CSN student. “I have to start looking out for them.”

Ebonnee Britton, a CSN student, said she is more aware and observant while walking especially when she has her child because not all drivers pay attention. She has experienced many close calls where she was nearly hit as a pedestrian due to other’s negligence.

“As residents of Nevada we should all take pride in how we conduct ourselves,” Britton said. “Driving is a privilege not a right. If this was enforced there would be more awareness from the drivers and that would cause everyone else to follow suit.”

Wearing bright clothes, following traffic signals, walking in designated crosswalks, crossing at appropriate intersections and looking both ways before entering or crossing an intersection will greatly reduce chances for pedestrian injury or fatality, according to NDOT.


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