Pedestrian Deaths In D.C. And Maryland Rose In 2013, Says Report | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Pedestrian Deaths In D.C. And Maryland Rose In 2013, Says Report

A new report on pedestrian fatalities is being released today — and the news isn't good.

Total pedestrian fatalities in the D.C. region increased during the first six months of 2013, compared to the same period the year prior, according to a nationwide study released today by the Governor's Highway Safety Association.

To break it down by jurisdiction, the number of pedestrians killed by cars rose from three to seven in D.C. and from 45 to 58 in Maryland. In Virginia, pedestrian deaths dropped from 41 to 37.

The report doesn't explicitly assign blame for the increasing number of deaths, but it does hypothesize that distracted driving and an increase in walking play a role. It also finds that pedestrians over the age of 70 are more likely to be victims, and that a greater proportion of fatalities occur at night. In many cases, the report says, alcohol plays a role.

Allan Williams, the report's author and former chief scientist at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, says that the findings are a wake up call for legislators and planners.

"A lot of organizations now are encouraging people to walk for health and environmental reasons, and I think more people are doing that. But we ought to figure out how to protect these people when they are out there intermingling with cars and other motor vehicles," he says.

He says one way to protect pedestrians is to lower speed limits, and he credits D.C.'s network of speed and red light cameras for slowing drivers down. One recent D.C. report found that speed cameras helped slow drivers and prevent accidents.

Nationally, for the first time since 2009, the number of pedestrians killed on U.S. roadways is declining, down nearly nine percent when compared with the first six months of 2012.

NPR

As Summer Winds Down, Wistful Dreams Of A 'Lost Estate'

The scent of fresh pencils is in the air, and homework assignments are around the corner. In honor of back-to-school season, author Alexander Aciman recommends The Lost Estate by Henri Alain-Fournier.
NPR

A Food Crisis Follows Africa's Ebola Crisis

Food shortages are emerging in the wake of West Africa's Ebola epidemic. Market shelves are bare and fields are neglected because traders can't move and social gatherings are discouraged.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell Corruption Trial: Former Gov Defends Relationship With Jonnie Williams

On the stand today, the former Virginia governor defended his relationship with the businessman at the heart of the trial, saying it was appropriate.
NPR

Coming Soon To A Pole Near You: A Bike That Locks Itself

Cyclists may soon have a convenient way to discourage bike thieves, thanks to new designs that use parts of the bikes themselves as locks.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.