Las Vegas Sun

June 29, 2017

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By the numbers: Clark County traffic deaths drop

After rising the previous two years, the number of people who died in car crashes in Clark County went down last year, according to data from Metro Police and the Nevada Department of Transportation.

Twenty fewer people died last year, from 190 fatalities countywide in 2013 to 170 in 2014. That's an 11 percent decline.

“We attribute the drop in crash numbers to enforcement through the Department of Public Safety, targeting seat belts and impaired driving, as well as greater educational outreach and driver awareness about lane departures, intersections and pedestrians,” said Tony Illia, a spokesman for the NDOT.

The installation of new pedestrian crossing countdown signals and highly visible stop signs also deserve credit, he said.

Here are a few other takeaways from the data:

The number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities countywide dropped from 62 to 45.

Metro responded to 27 deaths in 2014, compared to 34 in 2014. They also made 20 percent fewer DUI arrests, about 1,300 fewer arrests, from 2013 to 2014.

Over the same period, Nevada Highway Patrol increased DUI arrests by 11 percent, or 229 arrests.

Sheriff Joe Lombardo said budget constraints and other factors have reduced the number of Metro officers on the streets, which has led to their decrease in DUI arrests.

The number of collisions recorded in Metro's jurisdiction is way down, but that could be a difference in recording practices.

In February of last year, Metro stopped writing reports on non-injury accidents. That could partially account for the 43 percent decrease in collisions they noted.

Metro also reported a 21 percent decrease in injury accidents.

Statewide, traffic fatalities increased.

Nationwide, traffic deaths are on a downward trend, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with most states experiencing a decrease. However, Nevada in general has experienced a 7 percent increase, due to a slight uptick in the state's rural counties. Additionally, in Washoe County, where Reno is located, traffic fatalities nearly doubled from 2013 to 2014, from 19 to 36.

In Metro's jurisdiction, more pedestrians died than drivers.

Still, fewer pedestrians died in 2014 than in 2013, from 54 to 50 countywide and 47 to 34 in Metro's jurisdiction.

Metro data does not include freeways, North Las Vegas, and Henderson.

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