Health & Safety

April 13, 2012

Vehicle-pedestrian accidents: deadly, costly

By Nevada Test and Training Range
99th Air Base Wing Safety Offices
Courtesy photo

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of nearly 5,000 non-motorists are killed on U.S. roadways each year.

To put that number in perspective, Transportation for America, a broad-based coalition focused on transportation safety, made this grim analogy: The number of U.S. pedestrian roadway deaths is equivalent to a jumbo jet full of passengers crashing every month, or seven people killed in vehicle-pedestrian accidents every minute.

Clark County has a rate of vehicle-pedestrian accidents higher than the national average for its population. In 2010 and 2011, 34 and 30 pedestrian fatalities, respectively, occurred in the county.

This number could be on the rise: As of March, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department had already recorded 24 pedestrian fatalities for 2012 within its jurisdiction alone.

The leading cause of pedestrians being hit by vehicles is a combination of inattention, alcohol use (by either the driver or the pedestrian) and/or jaywalking. However, other major causes include drivers running red lights or pedestrians failing to account for traffic turning at intersections.

Las Vegas’ wide lanes and straight roads also play a part. The brutal summer heat makes things worse, destroying the adherence of road and crosswalk markings by cooking the oil in the asphalt.

The number of vehicle-pedestrian accidents has prompted the LVMPD to conduct focused enforcement events – targeting motorists failing to yield to pedestrians in marked crossings and jaywalkers alike. In one such sting, the department issued 177 “failure to yield” tickets in just 10 hours. Jaywalking is rigorously policed, especially on the Strip.

The cities of Henderson and North Las Vegas have also focused enforcement efforts on the issue.

Although jaywalking is an infraction similar to a parking ticket, Nevada has stiff fines for the offense. A typical jaywalking fine in Clark County is $198 plus court fees.

For drivers, failing to yield to a pedestrian in a marked crossing is a 4-point traffic violation accompanied by a $195 fine and court fees.

However, if the jaywalking or failure to yield causes an accident or fatality, the charge could escalate to reckless endangerment or involuntarily manslaughter, which could be prosecuted as felonies. Even if a prosecutor agrees to reduce this to a misdemeanor charge (most commonly, breaching the peace), fines of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months of jail time could still be imposed.

Ultimately, staying alert to traffic and obeying the rules of the road are just good sense, either while driving or on foot. This is especially true when the consequences could be heavy fines, jail time or even lost lives.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

40 years of Red Flag ends on high note

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., flies to the Nevada Test and Training Range during Red Flag 15-4, Aug. 25. With a...
 
 

Never underestimate your impact

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey — Every day I visit our great Airmen and every day I come across more than one that underestimates their impact to the mission. There’s the one-stripe maintainer, “just repaneling an aircraft,” for the next day’s flight, or the young personalist, “just issuing another identification card,” or the defender, “just guarding...
 
 

Challenge yourself: Never give up, never quit

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — I once read that newly created cells in our bodies do one of two things: they either begin to decay or they become more vital. These cells choose their path based on what we demand of them. If we are sedentary, our brains signal our cells to decay; but...
 

 

SECDEF visits Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Lawrence Crespo U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks with Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases during an all-call at the Lightning Aircraft Maintenance Unit hangar on Nellis AFB, Nev., Aug. 26. Carter’s department is responsible for policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal, and program evaluations for the...
 
 

Air Force extends SAPR services to AF civilians

WASHINGTON — The Air Force released a policy memo today allowing Air Force civilian employees who are victims of sexual assault to file restricted and unrestricted reports with their installation’s sexual assault response coordinator. The policy is effective immediately and allows SARCs and sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates to assist Air Force civilians...
 
 

TRICARE pharmacy rules changing for maintenance, brand-name drugs

WASHINGTON — TRICARE beneficiaries who take certain brand-name medications on a regular basis will be required to fill prescriptions at a military treatment facility or through a mail-in program beginning Oct. 1, a Defense Health Agency official said here Aug. 20. George Jones, DHA’s pharmacy operations division chief, said the new policy does not apply...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>