Are cell phones to blame for the jump in Nashville pedestrian deaths?

Dec 6, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  The number of pedestrians killed in Nashville has already surpassed last year’s total, with much of December still remaining.

Credit walkbikenashville.org

The group Walk Bike Nashville keeps a running total of the number of pedestrians injured and killed on Music City streets. The group says 20 people have been struck and killed this year. Sixteen pedestrians died in all of 2016.

Director Nora Kern says there is a pattern to the deaths.

“The majority of the crashes are happening on our larger pikes, so Gallatin, Dickerson, Nollensville, Murfreesboro; where the busses are running but often there’s nowhere to cross the street, really making a dangerous combination.”

Kern says there’s money in Metro’s new $5.2 billion transit plan for sidewalks and enhanced pedestrian crossings along these corridors. She says until those improvements can be made, drivers and pedestrians simply need to pay more attention.

“Right now we don’t’ have all the infrastructure that we need. There’s not enough cross walks. We know that people are out there on streets that are dangerous, so we all need to slow down, pay attention, put down our phones, and look out for each other.”

Kern notes that Nashville isn’t the only city in the country with this problem. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association says pedestrian fatalities jumped 11 percent last year.

The Association says cell phones being used by both drivers and pedestrians are likely responsible for much of the increase.

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