Auto-Pedestrian accidents up
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - We have seen a disturbing rash of pedestrians hurt and killed in Tucson, and the areas around it.
What's causing it?
Tucson Police traffic investigators say drivers are not always to blame.
When a hit and run driver injured a sixteen year old girl in a crosswalk on Oracle earlier this month, that was just a sample of the danger pedestrians walk into.
So far this year 13 pedestrians have died in Tucson alone---up from ten last year. Now look at the number hit. 117 pedestrians had close calls. Last year Tucson had 158 accidents where pedestrians were hurt and lived.
TPD Traffic Sergeant Mary Kay Slyter knows often it's not the driver's fault.
She says, "In the majority of fatalities we've had so far this year, seems like the majority of these collisions have involved jaywalking."
Sgt. Slyter says, "Then you have the inattention; either not looking, listening to music, texting while they're walking. You'll see all of these kinds of behavior along the roadway and it's just amazing how there haven't been more pedestrian fatalities."
Tucson has invested in extra signals and lighting to protect pedestrians but people often ignore them.
Gabby Gradillas says she's careful when crossing but sees plenty of people who aren't.
"They run, like when the light's already red and the cars are turning and it's not time for them to go they go anyways and they try to run across the beat the cars."