In the past 24 hours, two pedestrians have been killed on Las Vegas valley roads and safe road advocates are bracing for the worst with the upcoming holiday season.
Since the start of 2015, 33 pedestrians have been killed in Metro’s jurisdiction alone and 29 cyclists have died. Another 38 people lost their lives in cars.
When it comes to the entire county, the number of deaths increases to 169 people killed on valley roads.
With the holidays approaching, safe road advocates are nervous the number could climb.
One of the latest victims was a pedestrian who was struck by a car Wednesday night on Charleston Avenue near Lamb Boulevard.
In this case, the pedestrian was not crossing in the proper place. Even so, Metro Police say pedestrians in areas where it’s legal to cross aren’t much safer.
“Even though there is no crosswalk there, because there’s a street that intersects, it’s legal for a pedestrian to cross there. It is by no stretch of the imagination safe,” said Erin Breen, a project coordinator with the Vulnerable Road Users Project.
By Friday, pedestrians were once again crossing the street at the site of the previous night’s death.
With a total of 41 pedestrians killed in the valley, so far this year, Breen says pedestrians have to do everything they can to stay safe.
Many of the accidents have occurred when it’s dark.
“At night time, it’s so hard as a pedestrian to judge how fast the car going,” Breen said.
In a second fatal accident in a 24-hour period, a Cadillac SUV struck and killed a 25-year-old man on Las Vegas Boulevard near St. Rose Parkway. The pedestrian was walking in the middle of the street when he was struck and killed.
“When you are driving a lot of times you don’t expect a person to be in the middle of the roadway. We always remind people to be aware and vigilant especially when you are in an area where there are residents,” said NHP Trooper Loy Hixson.
For those who walk or bike around town — even though you might have the right of way — Breen says never assume a driver will stop for you.
“It’s not necessarily fair but it is the reality and pedestrians have to start planning for the reality of crossing our streets,” she said.
Safe road advocates fear there could be a spike in road deaths in the last two months of the year which has happened in previous years.
While the drivers in the most recent deadly crashes were not drunk, police say they’re stepping up enforcement over the holidays to catch drivers who may be under the influence.