State transportation officials are conducting a public awareness campaign about the increasing number of pedestrian deaths in Missouri.
State Department of Transportation (MoDOT) child passenger and bike-pedestrian safety coordinator Tara Van Loo says 110 pedestrians were killed in Missouri in 2019. Another 307 suffered serious injuries.
She says the top contributing factors were failure to yield, alcohol/drug impairment, and driver inattention.
“We always want to raise awareness on putting your phone down no matter if you’re walking, riding, bicycling, keeping your head up,” Van Loo says.
Van Loo also urges pedestrians to use crosswalks and to wear bright-colored clothing.
MoDOT and the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety say speed plays a key role in preventing pedestrian fatalities.
“If you see pedestrians or somebody on the side of the roadway, it’s best if it’s safe to merge over or at least slow down when you’re passing them,” says Van Loo.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and fewer cars on the road, Missouri traffic fatalities are also up this year. There have been 402 traffic fatalities in Missouri in 2020, compared to 359 at this time last year.
Click here to listen to Brian Hauswirth’s full interview with Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) child passenger and bike-pedestrian safety coordinator Tara Van Loo, which was recorded on June 24, 2020: