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Pace of Traffic Deaths Rising in Pasco, Hernando Counties

Pasco up 40 percent, Hernando up 85 percent
Posted at 6:50 PM, Apr 12, 2017

Another day, another accident on US 19 in Pasco County.

Biker Phil Kurzals knows the danger, "Scary.. it's gotten scarier as of late."

He's ridden all over the state but it's his own hometown that's got him thinking about hanging up his helmet.

"I've seriously considered giving up riding it's just getting too dangerous, " he says.

The roadside carnage is now showing up in the numbers.

Last year Pasco County had 93 traffic fatalities. This year their on pace to have 130.

And further north in Hernando County, they had 26 traffic deaths last year. This year, they're set to have 48, nearly double.

But it's not just car fatalities, it's also people getting killed trying to cross US 19.

Sheriff's deputies and the Florida Highway Patrol both say pedestrian deaths are part of what is driving the increase in the pace of traffic fatalities in Pasco and Hernando Counties.

Sgt. Steve Gaskins says this is all part of what comes with a growing state.

"Looking at a state with 20 and a half million people calling Florida home now and 105 million people that visited Florida last year people bring in a lot of different driving behaviors to us and a lot of time people have difficulty mixing and interacting," he says.

The rules of the road that the cold hard numbers prove people are not following. And it's costing lives.

The Florida Highway Patrol just re-launched a campaign called "arrive alive" to get it through to drivers and pedestrians that behind the wheel and behind these numbers are real people and real consequences.