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Tucson sees high pedestrian fatalities compared to years past

Tucson sees high pedestrian fatalities compared to years past
Posted at 6:32 PM, Nov 23, 2021

Tucson has seen more pedestrian fatalities in recent years than ever before. Tucson Police say most of these deaths can be prevented by a simple push of a button.

“The majority of our fatalities involving pedestrians, the pedestrian is doing something they shouldn’t," said Officer David Fritsch with the Tucson Police Department. "They’re crossing mid-block, they are failing to yield to vehicles, they are disobeying pedestrian signals.”

Tucson has had at least 25 pedestrian fatalities each year since 2017. That's almost double the average of years past.

“Those are substantially higher than in year’s past and we’re still at a trend that we don’t like to see," Fritsch said. "So we’re doing everything in our power to reduce the number of fatalities involving pedestrians.”

Tucson Police are taking preventative measures to stop this trend from recurring.

“Within the last 6 months, we’ve provided people with reflective shoelaces, reflective clothing, so that if they are going to be out there walking around or adjacent to the street, they’re more likely to be seen,” Fritsch said.

TPD provides practical help for new drivers through their safe teen accident prevention training. There are also classes for pedestrians.

“If somebody gets a citation as a pedestrian or as a cyclist, the first thing we explain to somebody is they can take a safety class to have that charge dismissed,” Fritsch said.

TPD partners with traffic engineers to discuss issues on the roadways, and how to prevent them. But the Department says pedestrian fatalities can be prevented by reading and following the signs.

"If we can just all pay attention on the roadways and try to follow the rules, then crashes would get reduced, and the number of people dying on the roadways would get reduced,” Fritsch said.