One of the first things you learn as a young kid is to look both ways before crossing the street. This lesson can save your life, but for Tampa Bay area pedestrians, it may not be enough.
Last year proved to be the deadliest year on record for Tampa pedestrians with 51 total fatalities. This is the highest number since authorities began recording pedestrian fatalities in 1998 and a big jump from 34 deaths in 2014. According to Smart Growth America, a neighborhood advocacy group, Tampa Bay area is the second most dangerous city to walk in after Orlando.
Hillsborough County experienced the largest number of these deaths, with six of the 51 people dying on Hillsborough Avenue alone. An article in the Tampa Bay Times reported, “Officials are at a loss to explain why the county’s roads remain so dangerous. The county and City of Tampa have spent years investing millions in pedestrian safety projects to add crosswalks, expand sidewalks and slow traffic.” Despite all of the money spent on improvements, there hasn’t been a substantial drop in pedestrian fatalities or accidents.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is conducting studies on certain streets in the county, focusing on Busch Boulevard after a 17-year-old student was struck and killed last October. They are also partnering with Vision Zero, a traffic safety initiative, to make their roads and highways safer. This initiative began in Sweden and has moved to places like New York City, where it’s had great success.
FDOT is working hard to see that the roads in Tampa and surrounding areas are as safe as possible, but City Councilwoman Lisa Montelione, a major advocate for safer Tampa roads, told the Tampa Bay Tribune: “There’s still more that can be done to reduce the fatalities…transportation officials can start by reinforcing the importance of engineering, enforcement and education.”
If you or someone you know has been the victim of an accident, contact a skilled, expert Tampa pedestrian accident attorney at Lorenzo & Lorenzo today. Check out our client testimonials to see how we’ve helped other victims in the Tampa area.