Fort Worth Tops In National Pedestrian Fatality Rate, City Moves Forward With Plan To Address It

There have been 96,000 car crashes and 140 pedestrian fatalities over the past five years, according to the city's Traffic Management Division

City leaders are moving forward with an action plan aimed at improving traffic and pedestrian safety in Fort Worth.

This week, the Fort Worth city council voted to adopt a resolution supporting the creation of a 'Vision Zero' policy and action plan.

Tanya Brooks, assistant director with the city's Transportation and Public Works Department oversees the Traffic Management Division. The idea behind Vision Zero is to eliminating fatalities and serious injuries by figuring out how and why crashes are happening before they happen, Brooks said.

"Right now, we are set up to be very reactive as opposed to proactive," she told NBC 5. "This new approach would have us looking at the crashes in advance, identify where the majority of these crashes are happening and start to design differently."

According to Brooks, there have been roughly 96,000 car crashes in the past five years. There have been 140 people killed as pedestrians and more than 700 injured.

Since 2016, Fort Worth has been designated as a 'focus city' by the Federal Highway Administration due to the high rate of pedestrian fatalities.

"In the state of Texas, we're number two behind one other city in our state. Nationwide, we have one of the highest rates of pedestrian fatalities," Brooks said.

Most people working downtown we spoke with on Friday said they have been incident-free, though some like Michael Rose said they have had some close calls.

"When we were crossing this intersection and you always get those people who don't follow traffic laws. That's anywhere you go really. I don't think it's just because of Fort Worth," Rose said.

Others like Rene Rubio tell us, they have noticed traffic as a whole.

"There's a lot of growth and there's a lot of traffic on the roads and people are in a hurry to get to where they're going," Rubio said. "I've learned over the years just to look both ways twice and so, but I do see a lot of cars running red lights and people looking at their phones."

Brooks said they're now working on developing a task force as part of the 'Vision Zero' action plan.

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