FLORIDA– According to tampabay.com, pedestrian fatalities in Florida are on the rise again. On April 11, 2018, 46-year-old Jamie Patterson was crossing U.S. 19 when she was struck by a 2015 Ford Taurus. The Taurus entered the right turn lane, hit Patterson, and fled. Patterson died at the scene. The scene of the crash was marked with a cross and wilting plastic flowers. A soccer ball and a sign stating “Here Lies Jamie Patterson,” remained long after the accident.
The display is one of many that line U.S. 19, and some intersections have as many as five or six memorials. In 2017, 44 crashes took place involving pedestrians, nine of them were fatal. In Pasco County, U.S. 19 was the location of about 20 percent of all pedestrian crashes. The numbers indicate that “22 percent of all pedestrian crashes occurred on less than 1 percent of Pasco’s roadways,” meaning there are particularly dangerous stretches of roads for pedestrians.
According to Alex Henry, a representative from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), U.S. 19 is “one of the highest crash quarters in the country.”
Representative in Florida are working to lower the rate of pedestrian fatalities in the state. An action plan for Pasco County was created in 2011. A report from the Transportation for America provided incites to the state about transportation safety and high-risk areas. The report indicated that Florida had the second highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the country and that out of all counties in the state, Pascal had the highest number of severe injury pedestrian accidents. The state is now investing in a new action plan for 2018, and U.S. 19 will factor into the state’s plans to keep pedestrians safer.
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