Dallas Pedestrian Deaths Happening at Record Rate in 2012 - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas Pedestrian Deaths Happening at Record Rate in 2012

14 killed since Jan. 1, 24 killed in all of 2011



    Drivers and pedestrians share the blame for a disturbing and deadly trend playing out on Dallas streets, a record number of people have been hit and killed by cars this year. (Published Monday, April 2, 2012)

    Dallas Police are warning residents about a deadly trend playing itself out on the city's streets so far in 2012.

    Between Jan. 1 and March 31, 14 people have been hit and killed by cars in the city of Dallas.  By comparison, 24 pedestrians were killed in Dallas in all of 2011. 

    At the current rate, 72 pedestrians will die by the end of 2012.

    According to police, the blame in these crashes has roughly been 50/50, with drivers and pedestrians sharing the fault in these accidents.

    "We look for a pattern to see if there's maybe something enforcement-wise we could do or public information-wise we could do.  And really it's such a broad range of drivers and pedestrians, times of day, parts of town," said Lt. Scott Bratcher of the Dallas Police Department's Traffic Division.  "There's really not much we could do."

    Bratcher told NBC 5 his office is concerned about what is happening and that their approach is to simply warn people about this trend.  The hope is that people will now take more care.

    In the cases where pedestrians were to blame, the common causes include not crossing in crosswalks, or at well-lit street corners at night, according to police.

    In the cases where drivers were to blame, police said speed, improper lane changes and inattentiveness were common factors.

    "People always say that a pedestrian doesn't have the right of way unless they're in the crosswalk," Bratcher said.  "That's true, but it doesn't give the driver license to run over them either."