State Police: “Alarming uptick” in pedestrian deaths statewide

by | Feb 26, 2024 | Police and Fire, Ted Schubel

Virginia State Police say they are seeing an “alarming uptick” in pedestrian deaths on Virginia roads.  Since Feb. 11th there have been ten pedestrians killed across the Commonwealth.  The fatalities have occurred in Prince William (2), Henrico, Chesterfield, Albemarle, Fairfax, Pittsylvania, Loudoun, Wythe, and the City of Virginia Beach.  State Police say there have been 19 pedestrian deaths in Virginia so far this year.  Preliminary data shows in 2023, 118 pedestrians died in crashes on Virginia roadways.

DMV has ideas to keep safe if you’re walking near traffic:

  • Be predictable, follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
  • Plan a route with safe crossings.
  • Avoid distractions, alcohol and drugs, and be alert.
  • Dress to be seen, but never assume drivers see you.
  • Wear reflective clothing and carry a blinking light or flashlight at night.
  • Walk on sidewalks facing traffic.
  • If there’s no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
  • Watch for cars backing up, especially in parking lots and driveways.
  • Cross at crosswalks or intersections – where drivers expect pedestrians. While crossing, look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right, and make eye contact with turning drivers before proceeding when possible.
  • Turning vehicles can be especially dangerous at intersections. If there is no crosswalk or intersection, go to a well-lit area with the best view of traffic, wait until there is enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic while crossing.

A State Police spokesperson says drivers have a role to play in pedestrian safety.   According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers should always look for pedestrians, and use extra caution in hard-to-see conditions.  Drivers should also slow down and be prepared to stop when entering a crosswalk.  Drivers should also yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, and never pass stopped vehicles at a crosswalk.




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