Ohio data shows rise in pedestrian fatalities

Federal data shows a 23% increase in pedestrian fatalities in the first six months of 2021 compared to the same period a year earlier.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Clifton Harris is tired of speeding drivers in his East Columbus neighborhood.

“They treat it like it’s the Indy 500 coming through here,” he said.

About a month and a half ago, a little girl was hit while getting out of a car. She ended up in surgery to have pins put in her leg.

But that’s not the only incident that has troubled Harris. His exterior mirror was knocked off his car twice. And there are visible skid marks on the street. Signs and flags don’t seem to work, so he took it a step further.

He decided to write a message in chalk in the middle of the road, begging people to slow down. He then posted a video on Facebook Live sharing what he had done.

“I thought it would be a peaceful gesture just to write it on the street and just ask nicely like, listen, please slow down just because if this is your child, then what, you know, lives matter, man, and we’re rushing too fast and forgetting about life,” he said.

In fact, data shows that pedestrian fatalities are on the rise in Ohio. According to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, in the first six months of 2021, 79 pedestrians were killed. This is a 23% increase over the previous year, above the national average of 17%.

10TV has obtained more detailed information from the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The agency recorded 166 pedestrian fatalities for all of 2020. That number rose to 173 in 2021.

“These numbers, they are startling, they are alarming because even one of these deaths is one too many,” Sergeant OSHP said. Ray Santiago.

sergeant. Santiago points to two “usual suspects” as the main causes of these accidents – dangerous speeds and distracted driving.

“Making people really not get distracted, not just while they’re driving, but even pedestrians walking to and from where they’re going to always be aware and alert of your surroundings, that goes for both “, did he declare.

Harris just hopes the message he chalked up will catch some drivers’ attention and raise awareness. He also hopes to look into how to properly advocate for adding speed bumps to his street.

“It’s just a reminder to humanity, like we can slow down a bit,” he said. “Slow down, just a little. You will get there.

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