Arizona and Pedestrian Safety

According to a recent study by Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Arizona has the title of the deadliest state for pedestrians. Preliminary data issued that the rate of pedestrian deaths had climbed to 1.61 per 100,000 people, making it no. 1 when accidents are viewed concerning the state’s population.

As a result, the city of Pheonix is trying to find new ways to protect people who enjoy walking or riding a bike.

 The city has launched the Neighborhood Mobility Improvement Study, which is part of the T2050 voter-approved transportation plan. In that plan, the city has selected 11 neighborhoods that could use improvement.  Police departments El Mirage, Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Pheonix, Sahuarita, Scottsdale, and Surprise, will receive a share of the funding. Some of the areas are the low-income areas, areas with high bike and bus rates and regions with no-car households.  

 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave   $793,250 to Governor’s Office of Highway Safety for pedestrian and bicyclist enforcement and education in Arizona. The grant funding primarily targets the Pheonix and Tuscon. Pedestrians should take security measures and advanced program that will help them consider the possibilities when it comes to safe walking and riding a bike. In 2017 the total traffic fatalities were 1,001 while the number of pedestrians more than 40%. In 2013, the overall death toll in traffic was 849. So far in 2018, there are 111 deaths in Arizona.

The increased rate of pedestrians fatalities in Arizona is nearly double than the national average. Drivers are often speeding when they shouldn’t, and they are partially distracted and not focused on driving. Changing lanes before an intersection, making a left or right turn without looking, and not respecting the marked parts of the road or unmarked crosswalks. All of these points can affect the pedestrians safety. Police departments in Chandler and Tuscon have to remind pedestrians and drivers about the dangers above. The efforts include both sides understanding each other and working toward mutual respect between them.

Communication is the Key

In 2016 Arizona was third in the nation with a pedestrian death rate of 1.4 deaths per 100,000. In our state, 88 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur on city and county roads with the remainder happening on state highways.

What could help the Pedestrian’s safety

Gov. Doug Ducey created the Public Safety Goal Council with an idea to reduce traffic fatalities. They’ve started to make some countermeasures: improved street lighting, crosswalk islands, heavily marked crosswalk reduced speed in dangerous intersections.  Drivers blame pedestrians and vice versa.

These pedestrian fatalities usually happen on side roads and mostly after dark. Our cities and counties must find universal language thru engineering and enforcement strategies to improve pedestrian safety by copying efforts that other communities have implemented successfully.

Also, the bus problem can occur. Crossing after exiting the bus can be highly dangerous. The bus drivers must drop off passengers 200 feet away from the intersections. Those on foot must be mindful of using crosswalks and not crossing on the parts where there’s no sign for pedestrians.