News / Edmonton

Edmonton's pedestrian road fatalities climb in 2015

The city has a plan to curb the increase in pedestrian fatalities witnessed since 2013.

The number of pedestrian deaths to date in 2015 has already reached levels not seen since 2007, but the city hopes to drop it to zero starting in 2016.

Kevin Tuong/ For Metro

The number of pedestrian deaths to date in 2015 has already reached levels not seen since 2007, but the city hopes to drop it to zero starting in 2016.

Last week, a 50-year-old woman hit by a vehicle while crossing the street and became the city’s 12th traffic fatality this year  -- a grim high that is up from the nine on Edmonton’s roads in all of 2014 and six in all of 2013.

Data Metro acquired from the city shows the fatal collisions this year are 12 of 249 total accidents involving pedestrians, 46 of which resulted in “major injuries.”

In the majority of collisions the investigation determined the driver was at fault. In 49 per cent of cases the drivers were going straight ahead, 26 per cent were turning left, and 19 per cent were turning right.

Vehicles were backing up in three per cent of the accidents, and either changing lanes, passing, or swerving in three per cent.

Those numbers include both intersection and mid-road accidents, and are similar to the same figures from 2010 to 2014.

Director of traffic safety Gerry Shimko said the city is hoping existing information and more sophisticated data will help them eliminate all pedestrian collisions.

“Probably the biggest thing we are focusing on is… the ‘vision zero’ safe systems approach, and really looking at how we can integrate changes to allow us to reduce the risk,” he said of the council-approved plan to reduce pedestrian fatalities to zero.

The Vision Zero safety strategy will be implemented in 2016, and introduce new approaches in roadway engineering, speed management, and traffic signals.

Upgrades will include shortcutting and school area speed feedback signs, right turn redesigns and protected left turns, automated and manned speed enforcement and new pedestrian controlled cross walks already seen installed on Jasper and Whyte Avenue.

By the Numbers

·       1,533 pedestrians hit by vehicles in Edmonton between 2010-2014

·       249 pedestrians hit by vehicles in 2015 so far

·       6 pedestrians hit per week, on average

·       66% of vehicle-pedestrian collisions happen when the pedestrian has the right of way

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