If you are a pedestrian, then Florida is one of the most dangerous places that you can live. Seven of America’s most dangerous metropolitan areas are located in Florida. The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater was number seven on the list. Eight-hundred and twenty-one pedestrians were killed from 2004 to 2014. The Cape Coral-Fort Meyers topped the list.
Despite the fact that Florida is considered a dangerous place for pedestrians, there have been laws put in place to make the roads safer. The state has a Complete Streets initiative. This requires that road planners take the safety of pedestrians and cyclists into consideration when they are building the roads.
Emiko Atherton is the director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. She stated that despite the fact that many areas in Florida are considered dangerous, the communities are making progress. The Tampa Bay Metropolitan was number two on the list a few years ago. St. Petersburg and Tampa are making plans to improve street safety. This includes includes things such as beacon crossings, better lighting and separated bike lanes.
Jean Duncan is the director of Tampa’s Transportation and Stormwater Services Department. She stated that she hates the fact that Florida frequently makes the bad lists. However, she also stated that the state is making progress and is moving in the right direction.
Florida is not the only state that is dangerous for the pedestrians. Fatalities involving pedestrians have been on the rise since 2009. In 2009, there were 4,100 pedestrians killed in the United States. That number increased to 2014 in 4,900. There were an average of 14 pedestrian deaths per day in 2014.
Emiko has stated that there are more cars on the road now because gas prices are low. There are also more people walking to get where they need to go. Emiko also stated that income gaps may also be contributing to pedestrian accidents. Low-income families are more likely to walk because they cannot afford a car.
Minorities are also more likely to be involved in a pedestrian accident. Minorities make up 35 percent of the population in Florida. However, they make up 46 percent of the pedestrian accidents.
People who are over the of 50 are more likely to be hit by a car and killed. They have slower reaction times and are more frail. Dave Burns, who is the Florida AARP spokesperson, has stated that Florida has a lot to do. He also stated that people in the transportation field have recognized this and are trying to make the necessary changes.