Pedestrian deaths in Missouri on the rise

Pedestrian deaths on the rise

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - As 2016 nears an end, pedestrian crashes in Missouri are on the rise.

So far this year, crashes have killed 89 people across the state making up nearly 10 percent of all crash deaths.

That number is slightly less than 2015, but it is considered very high in an increasing trend according to the Missouri Department of Transportation.

"It is an upward trend on crashes, on fatalities, on pedestrian fatalities, on just about everything right now across the board," MoDOT Pedestrian Program Safety Coordinator Carrie Wolken said.

Earlier this month, ABC 17 News reported a 91-year-old man was killed crossing the street in Jefferson City in the 1400 Block of Missouri Boulevard. 

There was no crosswalk or pedestrian signal at that spot, as in many pedestrian crash death cases.

Seventy-seven percent of pedestrian crash deaths happen in locations without crosswalks or signals, according to the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.

"The pedestrians aren't paying attention," Wolken said. "They're not crossing at crosswalks where they should be crossing.

And not only our pedestrians, but our driving public are also not watching out for pedestrians and not paying attention."

This year in Jefferson City alone, crashes injured 21 pedestrians and killed one.

Jefferson City police said they often see people crossing the street where they should not cross.

"Especially Missouri Boulevard...and as busy of a road as that is, we see a lot of people walking across the road," Sgt. Doug Ruediger with JCPD said.

To bring down those numbers, the coalition named pedestrian safety as one of its five focus areas for the next four years.

"We are just looking to enhance our roadways and improve the signage for pedestrians, more pavement markings so that pedestrians cross at appropriate locations and our drivers see those locations," Wolken said.

And in Jefferson City, MoDOT is currently installing sidewalks and crosswalk improvements along Missouri Boulevard near Highway 50.

The city will also install sidewalks along the north side of Missouri Boulevard this coming spring.


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