Pedestrian deaths on Phoenix streets are disproportionately high among older adults, and safer road design could make a difference, according to a report from Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition.
When asked to imagine a traffic accident, most Americans imagine two cars colliding instead of a pedestrian and a vehicle. This lack of consideration for walkers is causing pedestrian fatalities to increase while overall traffic fatalities decrease. Nationally, in 2012, pedestrians accounted for 14 percent of all traffic deaths, up six percent from 2011.
Every day, in communities across the country, people are killed while walking to school, to work or to the store. In fact, a person walking is truck by a car or truck every 8 minutes in the USA. Here in Connecticut, older adults age 65 and over and young children are particularly vulnerable. While older adults represent about 14 percent of the total population in our state, they were more than 28 percent of pedestrian fatalities between 2003-2010. According to a new report released by the National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, most of these deaths could have been prevented with safer street design. The report ranks Connecticut 27th out of 50 states in pedestrian safety, demonstrating the continued urgent need to invest in making our roadways safer for everyone.
AARP Connecticut today asked members of the Transportation Committee to support S.B. 191, which promotes pedestrian and bicycle safety and enhances penalties for drivers causing harm to “vulnerable users.”
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