Pedestrians dying at highest rates since 1996, USDOT says

TAMPA, Fla. - Pedestrians across the U.S. are now dying at some of the highest rates since 1996, according to new numbers released from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

And within the Tampa Bay area, there are certain areas where pedestrians are most likely to be hit, including most roads surrounding I-275. These trouble spots range all the way from Carrollwood, to downtown Tampa, to Brandon, according to the Center for Urban Transportation Research at USF.

Some say Tampa can be a dangerous place for a pedestrian.

“You’re out there on the street or on the sidewalk," one pedestrian told ABC Action News. "Somebody could just come up behind you, jump the curb and just nail ya.”

Through the window of the Power Circle Barber Shop in Tampa, Reginald Preston, a barber, has seen a life cut short.

"About two months back, a guy got hit," Preston said. "And he died."

They watched as emergency workers arrived.

"When they got here, they just pronounced him," Preston said. "Just put the white sheet over him. He was gone."

And from her chair in the barber shop, Bri Walker saw a car miss a mom and baby by just seconds.

"The light was green," she said. "They didn't see her turning and they almost hit her."

She said it can be hard to point the finger.

"Sometimes the pedestrians are in the wrong," Walker said. "Sometimes the drivers are in the wrong. And sitting out here, I’ve seen it go both ways."

She says both sides caring enough to simply pay attention is the key to preventing more deaths.

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