Despite recent deaths, DC pedestrian safety improving

WASHINGTON — In less than two weeks, four local pedestrians have been struck and killed on D.C.-area roadways. Several others have been injured by vehicles.

Despite the recent rash of collisions, early numbers from police show 2016 is actually on track to be a better year for pedestrian safety across the region.

Preliminary data from local police departments in Maryland, Virginia and the District show that pedestrian deaths are down 36 percent compared to this time last year. So far this year, 23 pedestrians have been struck and killed. By contrast, at the end of August 2015, 36 pedestrians had died.

On average, a pedestrian is struck and killed about once every week in the Washington area, but there has been an upward trend over the last several years. In 2013, 45 deaths were reported. In 2014, 53 people were killed and 2015 saw 60 deaths. The number of fatalities for 2016 is on track to reverse that trend, however.

The numbers come from the District as well as Alexandria, Arlington, Loudoun, Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Deadly collisions involving bicyclists were not included.

It’s been about one year since the District kicked off its Vision Zero campaign, which strives to end all pedestrian fatalities by the year 2024 through more effective education, enforcement and engineering.

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