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Arizona Has One Of Highest Rates Of Pedestrian Deaths In US

The Governors Highway Safety Association issued its latest report on Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities. The number of nationwide deaths increased by 11 percent.

The study is based on data from all 50 states from the first 6 months of 2016. Total deaths for the year are estimated to reach more than 6,000, making it the deadliest year in more than two decades.

Arizona is projected to exceed 100 deaths for the year. That would give the state one of the highest rates of pedestrian deaths per capita in the nation.

Alberto Gutier is the director of the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. He says more cars on the road and intoxicated drivers are contributing factors, but the main culprit?

“Speeding," Guiter said. "Aggressive driving. You know I’ve seen people drag racing on city streets in the city of Phoenix? Drag racing!”

In addition to slowing down, the study recommends cities increase separation of pedestrians from motor vehicles by building sidewalks and improving street lighting as most deaths occur at night.

Jimmy Jenkins was a producer and senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2021.