MONROE, La. (9/27/18) – A new report from The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) shows a shocking spike in pedestrian fatalities nationwide. Data from 2016 was gathered revealing 127 pedestrians died in Louisiana that year.
According to the NTSB pedestrian deaths have increased every year since 2009, with an average of 16 people being killed each day.
Frequent walkers tell NBC10 they have their own rules for safety so they won’t become a statistic.
They have cars, But Sheena Smith and Christine Pasceri like getting around Monroe on their own two feet.
“I walk all the time”, said Smith.
Pasceri adds, “You do your three before you proceed you look right left and forward.”
But many of us don’t. The NTSB says an average of 16 people die in the U.S. every day just walking down the street. Those numbers have been rising since for seven years straight.
“I don’t want to be no victim in the streets cuz it’s dangerous out here”, said Smith.
Especially at the intersection of US Highway 165 and Renwick Street. Monroe police say the most recent pedestrian-involved crash happened there just last week.
“I would consider that as being one of the more major and tougher intersections for people to cross”, said Reggie Brown, executive officer for Monroe police department. He says most pedestrians are struck by cars after dark.
“Approximately 75% of all fatalities occur while walking at night”, said Brown.
This particular intersection has an overpass to keep those walking safe. Smith says its the only way she’ll cross over Renwick St.
“I’m scared to cross over the highway”, said Smith.
“This is a high traffic area and it will prevent fatalities. I utilize it”, said Pasceri. But at night, she worries.
“I would notice that people would be up there and that would frighten me as well”, said Pasceri.
Monroe police say safety begins with being seen.
“Being visible is one of the most important safety concepts a pedestrian can utilize…wearing bright light colored clothing or reflective material”, said Brown. He also says it’s a good idea for pedestrians to carry flashlights with them at night and to always use the sidewalk.
“If there is not a sidewalk we encourage them to walk facing traffic so they can see any possible danger”, said Brown.
Brown also encourages pedestrians to stay sober. He says being impaired can increase your chances of being struck. Approximately 33% of pedestrian fatalities involved a pedestrian with a blood-alcohol-content above the legal driving limit. Brown adds on average a pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes.
To read the full report from NTSB click here.