Pedestrian Killed on Breckenridge Lane

Pictured: police and first responders investigating after a woman was hit and killed by a vehicle at the intersection of Breckenridge Lane and Landside Drive, near Six Mile Lane, in Louisville, Ky., on Feb. 24, 2021. (Source: Louisville Fire & Rescue)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Fewer walkers and runners died in vehicle collisions in Kentucky during the first half of 2020 than during the same period a year before, a national report shows.

There were 24 pedestrian deaths across the state from January through June 2020, down from 34 over that time in 2019, according to preliminary data from the Governors Highway Safety Association released Tuesday.

That represents a drop of 29 percent, making Kentucky one of just nine states with double-digit decreases in total deaths and the death rate from a year earlier. And only six other states posted a bigger decline in those deaths.

That’s among the “good news” from a report that found national pedestrian deaths relatively unchanged even as driving plummeted during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While the number of pedestrian deaths was essentially flat from the previous year, because of that reduction in vehicle miles travelled, that equates to about a 20 percent increase in the rate of pedestrian fatalities,” researcher Richard Retting, who provided data for the report, said during an online briefing.

Retting said it’s too early to know if that trend will stay intact for 2020 overall, “but if the entire year looks like this, it will be the largest increase ever recorded … on a year to year basis.”

Pedestrian deaths climbed in 27 states in the first half of last year. Indiana recorded an increase of 10 deaths – from 35 to 45 – or a 29 percent increase.

The report does not show where in each state the deaths occurred.

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct a statewide assessment next year to identify pedestrian safety measures in the state, spokeswoman Erin Eggen said. 

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