YPD and City Look into Safety for Drivers, Bikers and Walkers

YPD and City Look into Safety for Drivers, Bikers and Walkers

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YUMA - Since six o'clock last night, two more pedestrian versus vehicle accidents have been reported in Yuma. These two incidents were actually bicyclists versus vehicles, but they are considered pedestrians versus vehicles, nonetheless.

Three more were reported in October, one of them fatal. There's *nothing* wrong with Yuma city crosswalks, but when drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians aren't paying attention at busy intersections, or away from them, that's when problems occur.

October's fatal vehicle versus pedestrian incident has the City of Yuma and Yuma Police taking a closer look. Specifically, what do these historical events share in common? If they can identify the common elements, they can brainstorm a solution.

Both organizations agree; one death is too many.

YPD and the city are starting groundwork on an education/awareness program to avoid deadly accidents like this in the future. But before they can address the problem, they must first identify it.

Sgt. Leanne Worthen is the Public Affair Officer for the Yuma Police Department.

"A lot of people ask me, is it because you have jay walkers? Is it because you have crosswalks in certain places? Is it because they're wearing dark clothing? Is it because drivers don't pay attention? You know, it could be all those things or a combination of those things. I'm trying to pull my facts together, take a look at all the accidents and say, Hey, this is one of the reasons, here are the top three reasons and maybe we can use a little stronger education program or stronger awareness program for people once we give them some more specific reasons," explains Sgt. Worthen

Sgt. Worthen says it will take a week or two to compile the data and do their statistical analysis. When they're done, they should be able to determine if one or more causal factors are common to these vehicle versus pedestrian incidents.

Once they have the facts, they'll be armed with the information they need to create an effective education and awareness program to keep Yuma drivers, bikers and pedestrians safer on the streets.

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