Las Vegas Sun

November 23, 2014

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Traffic deaths down in state, but up 6 percent in Clark County

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Steve Marcus

An Nevada Highway Patrol trooper takes measurements after a fatal crash involving a cement truck on the northern 215 beltway near Jones Boulevard Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. The cement truck apparently stuck the wall, then continued along the wall eastbound before turning over and catching fire, said NHP officer Jeremie Elliott. The accident has closed the beltway in both directions between Jones Boulevard and Sky Pointe Drive.

While the number of traffic deaths declined statewide in 2013, the fatality count rose by 6 percent in Clark County.

The state Department of Transportation said Thursday there were 183 deaths in Clark County with increases in the number of pedestrian, motorcycle and bike deaths.

Statewide the preliminary total was 259 traffic fatalities or three less than in 2012.

Meg Ragonese, public information officer for the department, said pedestrian deaths in Clark County rose from 43 in 2012 to 51 in 2013, an 18 percent increase. Five people were killed on bicycles, up from two of the year before and there were 39 motorcycle deaths compared to 25 in 2012.

Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Chuck Allen said, "Bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrian deaths are unfortunately up this year.

"No matter if you are in a car, on foot or on a bike, always look for each other and share the road," he said. "And wearing a seat belt is still one of the most important things you can do to help save your life."

Traffic officials hope to cut deaths by 50 percent by 2030.

Washoe County, the other metropolitan area in the state had 19 traffic fatalities, down from 32 in 2012.

The department said new safety measures in 2013 included enhanced signage at both rural and urban intersections, heightened "zero tolerance enforcement" on Interstate 15 from Las Vegas to Primm and periodic posting of traffic fatality numbers on freeway signs to raise safety awareness.

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