COLUMBUS: A national transportation safety report shows pedestrian traffic fatalities are down nationally, including in Ohio.
The recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association found that Ohio was one of 25 states where fewer pedestrians were killed in the first half of 2013. Pedestrian fatalities dropped nationwide for the first time since 2009.
Safety officials say it’s too early to tell whether it’s a trend, but they’re hopeful that increased efforts to keep pedestrians out of the path of vehicles are working.
“More people are getting out and about walking for health and the environment,” said Kara Macek, a spokeswoman for the safety association. “As people are getting used to more pedestrians on the roads, maybe they are paying attention.”
The study found that pedestrian deaths in Ohio dropped from 56 in the first half of 2012 to 35 in the first six months of last year, according to The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1oThKIR ). Only three states had a bigger drop in that period.
The drop in pedestrian deaths across Ohio mirrors an overall reduction in traffic fatalities in 2013, when fewer than 1,000 people died in car wrecks for the first time since the state began keeping records in 1936.
Pedestrian deaths nationwide had decreased each year from 2006 to 2009. Deaths began to increase between 2010 and 2012, and the federal government responded by creating programs designed to reduce them.