pedestrian safety

‘It's a Crisis': Pedestrian Deaths Tracking High in Connecticut

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In just the past week, five people in the state have been hit by a car and killed and experts say we’re just beginning the most dangerous time of the year for pedestrians.

“It's devastating. There's been so many, so many that I had to do a double take,” said Amy Watkins, program manager for Watch for Me CT.

Watch for Me CT is focused on pedestrian and bicyclist safety and is spearheaded by the state Department of Transportation and Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center.

By the organization’s count, 53 pedestrians have passed away in the state so far this year.

Experts worry that at the rate we’re going we could potentially surpass the most recent high number of pedestrian deaths of 61 from 2020.

“This is an important issue. This affects families, people we know, people we care about, so many people. We at this rate are losing more than one person per week. And it's so, it's a crisis,” Watkins said.

On Wednesday, police said a woman died after apparently trying to cross the Berlin Turnpike in Wethersfield.

A man died after being hit on Chase Avenue in Waterbury on Tuesday.

Pedestrians were also killed in the past week in New Haven and Bristol.

According to the Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center, we’re just entering the deadliest time of the year, which are the months of November, December and January.

“We expect that there's going to be more pedestrian deaths around this time because this is when the days are getting shorter, there's less light,” Watkins said.

In terms of prevention, Watkins said drivers bear the brunt of the responsibility since they’re in large vehicles that can be dangerous.

Still, with distracted and drunken driving, pedestrians shouldn’t leave their safety in the hands of others and they should be aware of what’s going on around them and make sure they’re visible.

“We just want to save lives. At the end of the day, we want everyone to get home safely,” Watkins said.

Experts say engineering streets to make them safer is a big part of the solution, which includes ways to potentially slow cars down, better lighting and adequate crossing.

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