LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Even during a pandemic, when fewer people are on the road, one unfortunate statistic still climbs. Pedestrian deaths in the Las Vegas valley are up 30% from 2019, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
To bring awareness to this problem, local police departments came together on Tuesday to promote crosswalk safety.
There are some marked crosswalks with flashing lights across the valley, including at the busy intersection of Flamingo and Mojave Roads.
While conducting their annual turkey crossing event, police still saw many people drive through the intersection while officers were trying to cross the marked crosswalk.
A metro officer wore a sparkly turkey costume as he attempted to cross the street. Police say if drivers won’t stop for this — along with flashing crosswalk lights — how will they stop for a child or another person?
There have been 56 pedestrian deaths in 2020 so far — that’s six more lives than last year at this time.
Metro police are urging drivers to be aware of their surroundings, especially on roads like Flamingo, which allows drivers to go 45 miles per hour.
“Every single one of those persons, they’re somebody’s child, they’re somebody’s parent. It’s unfortunate,” said LVMPD Sgt. David Stoddard.
“Drivers, just slow down. It’s not worth getting there 10 seconds earlier or even a couple minutes early,” Sgt. Stoddard added.
Metro police say 80% of pedestrian deaths happen between dusk and dawn. Walkers are encouraged to wear bright clothes or reflective bands on their clothing.
Police suggest pedestrians make eye contact with drivers before entering a crosswalk, and clear each lane before moving forward.
During Tuesday’s safety event, police gave out 123 citations to drivers who did not stop for pedestrians. One driver was arrested for driving under the influence.