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According to promising new statistics, the number of traffic fatalities reported on Nevada roads continued its downward trend in August, which is typically one of the most dangerous months on roads. This comes shortly after it was reported that Nevada traffic deaths were down 22 percent in the first half of 2019 compared to last year. In August 2019, there were 22 fatalities reported in crashes, which is down from 36 deaths last year and marks a nearly 39 percent decrease. It is the fourth consecutive month in which traffic deaths in the state declined.

Unfortunately, statistics have also revealed that pedestrian deaths seem to be moving in the opposite direction in Washoe County. The Nevada Department of Public Safety’s 2019 Fatality Report has revealed that nine pedestrians were killed in Washoe County in the first eight months of 2019; in comparison to 2018’s four deaths, this marks a 125 percent increase. Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Hannah DeGoey commented on this finding, saying that Nevada is “on the wrong end of pedestrian deaths.” She added that “the goal for all agencies is going to be zero fatalities on our roadways and we are going to focus on keeping pedestrians safe.”

This has led the Nevada Department of Transportation to shift their efforts toward combatting pedestrian deaths and raising awareness in drivers and pedestrians on safely sharing the road. For example, the Reno Police Department recently conducted two pedestrian safety enforcements in the midtown, downtown and university areas, which have the highest number of pedestrian accidents. During the safety enforcement efforts, police officers scanned for violations by both drivers and pedestrians and issued 102 citations, gave 62 warnings and arrested one person.

Hopefully, future safety initiatives are successful in decreasing pedestrian deaths both county and state-wide. In the meantime, it is critical for drivers and pedestrians alike to follow traffic safety rules to make roads a safer place for everyone who uses them.

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