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Special Report | Pedestrian Deaths : Fading Crosswalks | P2

Reported by: John Treanor
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Updated: 2/13/2014 10:15 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- We're coming up on a holiday weekend and police are pleading with people to be vigilant on our roads.

Near record numbers of fatalities were reported on Las Vegas roads last year including some 53 pedestrians who were hit and killed.

It's this threat to everyone's safety News 3 is examining this week in a special series called 'Pedestrian Deaths : Fading Crosswalks."

News 3's John Treanor is heading up the investigation and last night reported on a failing infrastructure.

At some intersections it is difficult to see the crosswalk and many are fading badly.

This is just one thing experts are looking at as News 3 has seen the problem first-hand.

Answers, however, are hard to come by and no one can say why dozens of pedestrians are dying on our streets and what can be done to stop it.

Between October and December of last year, in a span of less than three months, 15 people were hit and killed just walking.

News 3 has talked to the experts, drove all over town and looked at the deadly problem then we ran into a another problem.

Police, politicians, advocates, even pedestrians, none of them seem to know what is the cause or reason for the high number of pedestrian deaths.

The most common possible answer received was that pedestrians are not using crosswalks.

“Is your life really worth the risk to get to the other side of the road,” said said State Senator Mark Menendo who sits on the Traffic Safety Coalition.

Some leaders say that most pedestrian deaths are preventable and police statistics back this up. Of the close to 57 pedestrians killed last year, leaders say 80 percent of the time the pedestrians were at fault.

This may mean that many pedstrians were not in a crosswalk.

On the second day reporting on this story News 3 got a call that a pedestrian had been hit on Flamingo Road.

It took just five minutes to spot a woman stuck, like an island, in the middle of the street. Than another and another five people in 25 minutes.

News 3 asked one person why take such a dangerous route to cross the street.

"People do it all the time though," said Brad Fernandez. "I know, I mean it wouldn't take long to take a minute, but just because it saves time and energy people jaywalk."

Fernandez knows it isn't safe and is really just lazy, but he shared something else and talked about a fear he says is common among walkers.

"They (drivers) don't even look for a pedestrian," he said.

Safety advocate and UNLV researcher Erin Breen isn't surprised.

While you hope people walk across crosswalks many, she says, move 30 yards or more away from crosswalks for safety.

“A lot of pedestrians feel safer," Breen said. "They’re wrong, but they feel safer crossing 20 yards out and giving people a buffer to jump out of the way.”

How dangerous can they be?

News 3 spent a day just walking across streets and both reporter and cameraman almost got hit by drivers.



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