North Lake Tahoe Bonanza editorial: How many more have to die on NV roads?
EDITOR’S NOTE: Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza editorial staff.
On Monday, Myisha Stokes of the Nevada Department of Transportation and Public Safety sent out an email blast to most media outlets in the state, sharing what she referred to as “startling” statistics regarding recent pedestrian fatalities.
As of Monday, here’s the big one to which she refers: The state’s two largest counties (Washoe, Clark) saw 13 lives lost just three weeks into 2015; seven of these were pedestrians, and one each for motorcycle and ATV riders.
Startling, indeed, considering when you look back at 2014, a total of 284 people died in Nevada traffic crashes, and of those, 72 were pedestrians.
Now, let’s address the statistics even further, according to information Stokes provided Monday:
• Four of seven killed pedestrians were crossing the street without benefit of a crosswalk or intersection.
• Six of seven pedestrians were killed without the benefit of daylight, and were not carrying or wearing lights or reflectors to help motorists see them.
• Two of seven pedestrians killed were crossing appropriately, in which drivers should have anticipated them and stopped, but failed to do so.
• The motorcycle rider improperly crossed the center lane into another motorcyclist.
• The ATV driver was speeding on a street where it was not legal to ride.
Here in Incline Village, we are no strangers to tragedy on our roads when it comes to pedestrians, and we have to look no farther than Dec. 30, 2011, when local residents Robert and Linda Mathis were killed after being struck, at night, near the Highway 28 crosswalk by Raley’s. Unfortunately, that incident wasn’t the first to strike our community, and odds are, it will not be the last.
In her email blast regarding the deaths so far this year, Stokes said the following, “As is true with 99 percent of all crashes, these tragedies were preventable.”
We couldn’t agree more. It’s everyone’s responsibility — drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and so on — to use care when traveling along our highways. We implore residents in Incline Village and across Nevada to remember that the next time you hit the streets.
Also, if you’re unsure about the laws and rules regarding crosswalks, pedestrian right-of-way, roundabouts and more, please visit zerofatalitiesnv.com/pedestrian.php to learn more about NDOT’s highways and safety tips.
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