LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Traffic and Problem Solving Squads will join Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) Motors for a special Halloween enforcement wave Halloween Day. The message comes at a critical time for pedestrian safety in the Las Vegas Valley. The number in Clark County are 50 percent higher than the same date last year and Halloween can be a dangerous night for those on foot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report an increase in children being struck and killed while trick or treating of almost one third the normal daily number.
Officers will be joined by community safety agencies distributing lights, reflectors and safety messaging aimed at educating walkers and drivers. If everyone’s efforts convince every road user to pay full attention and not take risks, this will be a safer holiday for all.
The location chosen is meaningful because it has long been a deadly place for those on foot, with three fatalities in 2017, but also a mid block location that was redesigned upgraded and given much needed lighting this summer by Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT). Mostly this location was chosen because both drivers and pedestrians are not taking full advantage of the improvements.
Drivers must stop when pedestrians are in the travel lanes in the direction they are driving, and pedestrians should take advantage of the flashing light provided to them by pushing the button to activate, then they must continue to pay attention while crossing. Drivers can continue their travel when the walker is not longer in the travel lanes in the direction the driver is traveling.
We woul dlike to make special not of how important visibility is; on a street like Boulder Highway, for example, or any 45 mph street in the valley, pedestrians need to be seen 350 feet away to give drivers a chance of stopping safely for them. On every street, pedestrians should carry lights, wear flashers and have reflective materials on their person.
We will be doing more about visibility next week for the time change. Year-to-date, pedestrian fatalities have happened between dusk and dawn 80 percent of the time, and 61 percent of the time on a street with a posted speed of 45 mph or higher.
Another contributor to overall fatalities for the holiday is an increase in parties and alcohol, for both drivers and walkers. Even when not driving, everyone needs to plan for a safe ride home, a friend, Lyft, Uber or taxi can get each person home safely. For those on foot who feel safe because they are not driving, the issue of depth perception while impaired not being as clear as you think can cost your life.
Decision making skills for everyone begins to diminish with your first drink, and are truly dangerous for every road user after a few drinks, planning ahead for safe rides home should be part of everyone’s plan.