New Mexico stays # 1 for pedestrian deaths
New Mexico was the number 1 pedestrian death toll in 2019. Sgt. Christopher Rody of the APD Motors Unit said things have actually gotten worse since then – due to spikes in drug use, alcohol use and homelessness.
“I think part of the problem is that the uninhabited neighbors are outside all the time,” he said. “We have people who are on the street around the clock.”
Officials said things are only expected to get worse over the next several months of vacation travel and shopping, so the department has some reminders for drivers and pedestrians.
The first reminder is to walk on a sidewalk if one is available.
“Predict what’s going on, follow the rules of the road,” said Sgt. Rody. “Watch the traffic around you, don’t get too close to the lanes.”
Sgt. Rody also advised pedestrians to stay visible while walking, wear light colored clothing, and keep eye contact with drivers so they know they can see you. Even if a pedestrian uses a zebra crossing, they shouldn’t step on the street until they get a traffic light.
“Just waiting for those 30 seconds to a minute, whatever it may be, for the light to change, could save a life.”
For those behind the wheel, APD says they should put phones or other potential distractions away before driving. The department also says not to drive past a car that stops at a zebra crossing. There may be a pedestrian there who you cannot see.
Motorists are also encouraged to watch out for pedestrians when turning right or left, comply with the speed limit, and use resources like Uber and Lyft.