Transportation

Pedestrian Fatalities On The Rise In Houston

Houston police say fatal accidents involving pedestrians up over last year.

A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association shows a 22% increase in pedestrian fatalities in Texas in the first three months of 2013. That’s compared to the first quarter of 2012.

Here in Houston, authorities are looking at more recent numbers.

HPD says 18 pedestrians have been killed so far this year, compared to 10 for the same period last year.

“So there’s definitely a spike in the number of pedestrian fatalities.”

That’s Captain Larry Baimbridge with the HPD Traffic Enforcement Division. Baimbridge was a guest on Houston Matters.

He says those accidents are caused by a lot of different factors.

“About two-thirds tend to be the driver of the vehicle that’s at fault. About a third are actually the pedestrians themselves who are at fault.”

Baimbridge says there’s the distraction of cellphones, and that applies to both drivers and walkers.

“I’ve even seen individuals walking and texting and walk into a pole. So you add all those things up and you kind of get the perfect storm, especially when you add in areas that don’t have sidewalks, or perhaps a construction zone, that sort of thing.”

HPD is now focusing much of its efforts on a section of Bellaire Boulevard near the West Sam Houston Tollway, where three pedestrians have been killed so far this year.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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