LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Traffic safety experts said Saturday, hours before daylight saving time rolled clocks back one hour, that deadly crashes involving pedestrians have been tragically common in Las Vegas in 2021.
"By my calculations, we've had at least 52 pedestrians killed in our community, not statewide, but in our community so far this year," said Erin Breen, director of the Road Equity Alliance Project.
Breen said pedestrian deaths could likely rise in the coming days as daylight saving changes lead to darkness falling over the valley earlier.
She said 80% of pedestrian traffic deaths happen between dusk and dawn.
"When the traditional nine to five left work Friday, it was light outside," Breen said. "When they leave work on Monday, for the traditional worker, it's going to be completely dark."
Breen plead with drivers to slow down and not drive while intoxicated.
For pedestrians, Breen said people need to wear bright or reflective clothing if possible, pay attention to traffic, and always use crosswalks when entering the roadway or people could learn a hard lesson.
"You don't want to learn it when it's someone you love," she said. "You know, we live in this world where it's not going to happen to me until it does."
Fire officials were reminding people around Daylight Saving that the fall is a good time to check smoke detectors, change batteries, ensure they aren't expired, and potentially buy a carbon monoxide detector.
"We have more carbon monoxide calls on Thanksgiving than any other time of the year," said Tim Szymanski, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue public information officer.
Szymanski said carbon monoxide detectors can protect you from invisible gas, and smoke detectors could be your only protection when a fire erupts.
"The thing everybody needs to remember, and most people don't know this, you can't smell when you go to sleep," he said. "Your nose goes to sleep with you."
Szymanski said Las Vegas Fire and Rescue will give anyone within city limits a smoke detector and install it for free if they visit the fire department's website.