Pedestrain deaths on rise, it's up to you to cut down the number of deaths

Posted at 6:06 PM, Oct 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-10 18:07:30-04

Nearly a year later, the loss of a three-year-old in Melissa's Malone family is still fresh.

"It's a lingering deep pain that you can't even comprehend," said Melissa Malone. "It was the day before his birthday and he ran out into the road and the truck didn't even see him."

It happened in a split second even under a watchful eye. In Florida it's all too common. One study ranked the state number two in the nation in pedestrian deaths.

A woman died in Tampa just this morning that raised the number to 28 in less than a year.
Police said it's a growing problem. Nearly half of all traffic deaths are pedestrians!

"It doesn't really surprise me," said Malone.

Here are some of the biggest reasons:

Wider roads: A report found larger lanes offer security and people drive faster, sometimes 15 miles above the speed limit.

Popularity: The US census shows Tampa is the fourth largest growing city in the nation, boiling down more traffic congestion .

Melissa's mom, Sheila Dames, has a theory too:

"Cell phones definitely! They always have a cell phone in their ears or hands and talking," said Dames.

That's an issue, and so are pedestrians not following simple rules of the road.

Police are trying everything to re-educate the public from social media campaigns and more recently going into the classrooms to instill good habits early.  

"There needs to be things done about it so things don't happen," said Malone.

Beyond education the city is taking proactive steps. Officials even even launched Vision Zero, a road safety initiative.

The plan focuses on infrastructure including creating and making bike and pedestrian lanes easier to navigate.

But the biggest hope in protecting yourself? Common sense.

"I think we as people have to take regards in losing our life or one that is close to you and that will make you think twice," said Dames.