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New Mexico Tops Country In Pedestrian Deaths

Matthew D. Britt via Flickr
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A new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association says New Mexico is the state with the highest rate of pedestrian deaths in America.

There were 71 pedestrian fatalities in New Mexico in 2014, according to the state Department of Transportation. In Albuquerque, busy crossings in low-income areas like Central and San Mateo have been hotspots for pedestrian fatalities. But spokesman Matt Kennicott says the problem isn’t isolated to poorer neighborhoods.

“The pedestrian fatalities quite frankly aren’t clustered in any one part of the state,” he said.

He says people have been hit by cars while walking on rural and city roads—and the accidents have been so scattered, it’s hard to pinpoint the cause.

“Honestly, this is an issue we need to continue looking at so we can wrap our heads around it a little bit more,” Kennicott said. “But you need to pay attention when you’re driving or walking or riding your bicycle.”

Kennicott says distracted driving is one thing DOT does know contributes to pedestrian deaths. The state is working on several education campaigns to cut down on that problem.

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.
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