Safety Committee Working to Bring Down Number of Crashes - 8 News NOW

Safety Committee Working to Bring Down Deadly Crash Numbers

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Deadly motorcycle crash Jan. 13, 2014 on Centennial Center Parkway. Deadly motorcycle crash Jan. 13, 2014 on Centennial Center Parkway.

LAS VEGAS -- It seems like there is at least one deadly crash a week in the Las Vegas valley. For the last three years, the number of people killed on southern Nevada streets has gone up.

One group in Las Vegas is trying to bring down that count in 2014.

The Southern Nevada Traffic Safety Committee includes police officers, business leaders, and community organizers.

They met Tuesday looking for ways to stop the deadly trend on southern Nevada streets. Already this year, three people have died in crashes in Metro's jurisdiction.

Members of the committee say they may start passing out information at roadside memorials and at dangerous intersections.

"Be apart of that, intermingle with them, offer our assistance, pass out fliers, leaflets, to those who come out. Maybe this could be a step up for preventing additional ones," Metro Police Lt. David Jacoby said.

The number of people who have died in car crashes within the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's jurisdiction has gone up every year since 2011.

The numbers are startling, from 72 deaths in 2011 to 114 deaths in 2013.

The number of DUI arrests have gone down during that same time.

"When DUI arrests are down, unfortunately, DUI fatalities go up," executive director for Stop DUI Sandy Heverly said.

Members of the Southern Nevada Traffic Safety Committee say they are focused on getting the message out.

Writing up fliers and creating songs to spread the word about crossing in crosswalks, buckling up, and not drinking and driving.

"It is a force multiplier. Any time we can tell one person and they tell two more, that is what we are aiming to do," Lt. Jacoby said.

"That is what it is going to take, a true grassroots effort. School district, media partners, social media, law enforcement, everybody," State Senator Mark Manendo said.

The numbers are intimidating. Last year, there was a 17 percent increase in pedestrian deaths and motorcycle deaths were up 68 percent.

Members of the committee say they are not letting the numbers deter them.

"It is a daunting task, but it is one that people in that room have not given up on," Sen. Manendo said.

They want fewer memorials for people lost in crashes in 2014.

The group also pointed out that Metro's Traffic Division has lost about 26 employees over the last three years.

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