Nevada traffic deaths down overall in 2017 | SierraSun.com

Nevada traffic deaths down overall in 2017

Staff Report
editor@nevadaappeal.com

The number of people killed on Nevada roads dropped in 2017.

After four years of annual increases, the number of people killed on Nevada roads declined in 2017 from 330 to 303.

But Department of Transportation officials say the number of pedestrian deaths increased dramatically, accounting for a third of the total.

The 99 pedestrian fatalities is up by 19 in 2017 with another nine bicyclists killed as well. The vast majority of those pedestrian deaths — 78 — occurred in Clark County, 21 more than in 2016.

NDOT spends about $10 million a year to improve pedestrian safety on state roads. In 2017, that included work on Kietzke Lane and North Virginia Street in Reno.

“We focus on driving behaviors and issued that lead to the most deaths and injuries on Nevada roads,” said Traffic Safety Engineer Ken Mammen.

He said the goal is to cut the annual number of fatalities in half by 2030.

In addition to educating drivers, he said NDOT is making efforts to ensure pedestrians are aware crossing roads and streets without paying attention can be deadly.

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Finally, the Joining Forces program focuses on enforcement. During 2017, police and highway patrol officers issued more than 73,000 citations for violations ranging from impaired and distracted driving, speeding and other safety violations.