Local News


2015 deadly crash numbers near record highs

Posted at 11:47 PM, Jan 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-03 15:10:46-05
The dust is settling on 2015 and the final numbers of deadly car crashes are out.
The sobering statistics aren't pretty, especially for pedestrian deaths. There were 207 crash fatalities last year, up from 174 in 2014, and 61 pedestrian deaths.
Erin Breen, a traffic safety expert at UNLV says that's the highest in at least 20 years.
Breen has a theory as to why the numbers are so high: selfish drivers.
"You see people driving like idiots all the time," she said. "They're darting in and out of traffic, they're speeding through and you think 'Wow! How is that person not going to kill themselves?'"
Another possible explanation she offered is that an improving economy means more people are on the roads driving to work and just being out of the house.
A group of police officers and lawmakers are meeting this week to discuss Boulder Highway, a particular trouble spot in the valley. 
"It sounds like they're going to lower the speed limit from 55 in the areas where it's 55 and make the speeds uniform along Boulder Highway which would help a great deal," Breen said.
Long-term, she expects more crosswalks to be installed, as well as more lighting.
Breen says, ultimately though it's up to individual drivers.
She urges people to put their phones down and leave plenty of time to get where they're going.