As drivers, we frequently encounter people crossing the road. Too often, though, the situation becomes dangerous, often due to an inattentive driver who may also be speeding.
That’s why Metro, Clark County School District police, and Nevada Highway Patrol have launched an unusual awareness campaign designed to draw attention to pedestrian safety issues. A police officer dresses as a turkey and waddles across the street to help show even a giant turkey sometimes isn’t spotted by inattentive drivers.
Other officers come along to issue tickets to drivers who fail to yield to a pedestrian or who pass a stopped vehicle at a crosswalk or intersection. Citations in Las Vegas for this offense start at $191, plus additional court costs.
State and Local Fatalities and Injuries
The effort comes at a particularly dangerous time of year, since many pedestrian fatalities occur in November and December. This is thought to be tied to a greater number of impaired drivers during the holidays.
Sixty-nine pedestrians were killed in Nevada in 2014, according to the state Department of Traffic Safety. Between 2008 and 2012, 234 were killed, and 784 were seriously injured.
Clark County and Las Vegas can be particularly dangerous for pedestrians. Experts say the area’s roads often contribute to the problem, with flat, long streets that make speeding comfortable. Few streets have convenient places to cross, they say.
Several studies have ranked Las Vegas as one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians. In fact, in 2013, pedestrian deaths accounted for almost 30 percent of Clark County traffic fatalities, a much higher percentage than the national average of 14.5.
Older people and children are particularly vulnerable and have a greater risk of dying in low-speed collisions. Pedestrians in general are more likely to be hit at night due to visibility issues, and darkness falls early in the late fall and winter.
Tips for Pedestrians and Drivers
The Nevada DOT offers the following tips for pedestrians and drivers:
- Cross only at intersections and crosswalks that are marked in the middle of blocks.
- Don’t cross an intersection diagonally unless it’s been designed for this.
- Look for cars before crossing, and continue looking as you cross.
- Be aware crosswalks exist at any intersection, even when there aren’t pavement markings.
- Yield to pedestrians in sidewalks.
- Take particular care around schools and school crossing guards.
If you’re a pedestrian who’s been injured, contact the attorneys at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, Martinez at 702-388-4476 for a free consultation. We specialize in personal injury cases and have the experience and expertise you need. You can also download our printable checklist of what to do if you’re in a car accident.