Washington Hits 20-Year High of Pedestrian and Bicycle Deaths

Sept. 9, 2022

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WDOT) just released the numbers of pedestrian deaths of 2021, and it has hit a 20-year high. 

In 2021, 592 pedestrians were hit and it proved to be fatal.

155 of them were on bicycles or walking. “We are going the wrong way,” the Washington Department of Transportation’s Charlotte Claybrooke said in an interview with KIRO News Radio. “We’ve had a 26% increase in deaths of pedestrians and bicyclists on our roads and a 28% increase in serious injuries.”

Under 3% of all crashes involved bikes or pedestrians, but they represent 26% of deaths. Most of the deaths are happening in cities, at points like crosswalks and intersections.

“Most of them are where a pedestrian is crossing a street, and it might not be at a signalized intersection,” Claybrooke said. “It could be any legal crosswalk. The same is true for bicyclists. The majority of them are happening in intersections.”

Claybrooke said the legislature has given WSDOT the green light to reduce speeds where it makes sense.

“That means adjustments to the roads like roundabouts instead of a traffic signal that help to naturally lower the speeds for motorists and changing the road features so that we provide separated facilities,” she said.

Traffic safety devices, like speed humps or raised intersections, are also in the tool kit. So is simply lowering the speed limits.

More photo enforcement is also in the bag. It used to be those red light cameras, speed cameras, and photo enforcement were only allowed by the legislature in Seattle or big cities. That has since changed.

“[The legislature] expanded that and allowed for other cities to be included and to utilize that tool and not just in school zones and where there are traffic signals,” Claybrooke explained. “They can be used near hospitals, near parks where you find children playing. It’s much broader than it used to be.”

Drivers will see more photo enforcement and other measures in cities of all sizes across the state until the number of fatal accidents goes down.


Source: WDOT

Sponsored Recommendations

The Science Behind Sustainable Concrete Sealing Solutions

Extend the lifespan and durability of any concrete. PoreShield is a USDA BioPreferred product and is approved for residential, commercial, and industrial use. It works great above...

Proven Concrete Protection That’s Safe & Sustainable

Real-life DOT field tests and university researchers have found that PoreShieldTM lasts for 10+ years and extends the life of concrete.

Revolutionizing Concrete Protection - A Sustainable Solution for Lasting Durability

The concrete at the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center is subject to several potential sources of damage including livestock biowaste, food/beverage waste, and freeze/thaw...

The Future of Concrete Preservation

PoreShield is a cost-effective, nontoxic alternative to traditional concrete sealers. It works differently, absorbing deep into the concrete pores to block damage from salt ions...