LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Over 180 people have lost their lives on Clark County roads this year and out of those deaths, 55 were pedestrians, according to the Department of Public Safety.
That number is already higher than the total number of fatalities in 2022. University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s Director of Road Equity Alliance Project Erin Breen said it’s a two-way street.
“What we are seeing is cars going too fast, drivers that are distracted, pedestrians not where they belong, and impairment on both sides of that,” Breen said.
Metro police have reported an increase in deadly collisions year over year. In 2022, “pedestrian error “and “failure to yield right of way” were neck and neck.
“We’re coming off of the deadliest month in my 27-year career for pedestrians,” Breen said. “We had two children killed in the last month.”
Clark County Commissioner Micheal Naft is also reminding the community to take extra precautions, as the number of road deaths has spiked across the Las Vegas valley.
“Just this last weekend we crossed over to some really dark territory, marking a year-over-year increase in fatalities on our roadways that extends to pedestrians,” Naft explained. “Eleven pedestrians in one month’s time and it’s one of the worst that I can remember and it’s just getting worse and that’s a call for action for us to step up our efforts, that’s everything from the way our roads are designed, engineered and built.”
While a severe car crash can happen anywhere, some roads are more dangerous than others, like Boulder Highway due to a lack of sidewalks, speeding drivers, and more.
“It has some really entrenched challenges like the dip in the middle of the road that makes it harder to see pedestrians, there’s a lot of challenges with Boulder highway but the good news is we know what works, we know better lighting helps. We know reduced speeds improve your likelihood of living. We know the implementations and what we need to do to improve this problem,” Naft added. “Now it’s just the matter of getting all of us on the same page and I mean all of us like the county, city the state, all of the stakeholders, everybody who uses our roadway system in how we can do a better job in keeping people alive and avoiding serious injury on our roads.”
The most recent crash earlier this month became a mess for early morning commuters as Nevada State police responded to two crashes, one on Boulder Highway and one on Eastern Avenue, leaving only one lane open.
Back in May, a man killed off of Boulder Highway approaching Russell Road marked the 50th traffic death of 2023.
Boulder Highway closed in both directions for hours as police investigated.
Several agencies including the Clark County School District Police Department have joined forces with the Office of Traffic Safety to help save lives.
Captain Robert Mayer with CCSDPD said they’ve increased their presence in and around school zones to encourage drivers to slow down across the valley.
“My wish is to get drivers to slow down everywhere. It use to be Boulder Highway was the worst in the state but because of the engineering and enforcement programs that have occurred there focusing on the Boulder Highway area, we truly have been blessed there but we continue to have it move around the valley so I don’t want to pinpoint one area. I want drivers and parents to be responsible to take and do the most they can to treat every person, every child out there on the roadway as one of their family members to have a zero fatality year,” Captain Mayer said.
Change is underway as the City of Henderson is inviting residents to get information and provide input about the upcoming Reimagine Boulder Highway Project that is planned to begin next year.
Residents have two options to get involved, one of them being an invitation to an in-person meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Valley View Recreation Center.
The second option is an online public meeting where the public can view exhibits, maps, and renderings, and learn more at any time. Residents will also be able to submit questions or comments online.
If you have a problem intersection in your area, you can put in a request through the City of Las Vegas’s Transportation Engineering Department.
For issues involving county roads, you can report issues to the Public Works Department.