TUCSON – The latest numbers from the Governors Highway Safety Association show nationwide 6,300 pedestrians were killed in 2018 – the highest number in nearly 30 years.
When it comes to the number of pedestrians killed, Arizona continues to rank near the top.
James Greene spends a lot of time out on the road and has seen his share of people crossing outside of crosswalks, especially along North Stone Avenue.
“This area is a bad area. There’s a lot of traffic, and a lot of people walking, so yeah, I can see it happening,” Greene said
It didn’t take long for the News 4 Tucson Investigators to spot mid-block-crossers — or jaywalkers.
Crossing outside of a crosswalk, whether visible or implied, like at an intersection – is illegal.
“The fine for jaywalking is just under 100-dollars, however, there’s an option to attend a three-hour school for 39-dollars. Once you complete that class, the ticket goes away,” said Tucson Police Sergeant Mike Allen.
Allen tells the News 4 Tucson Investigators, people usually tell him they decided to jaywalk to save time.
It’s a decision that can have deadly consequences.
“Of all the people that were hit last year, I’m fairly certain if you go back and ask them – none of them thought they were going to get hit, they all thought it was safe to cross the street,” Allen told the News 4 Tucson Investigators
In the past year, Tucson Police issued nearly 800 jaywalking citations. That was about 150 more than the previous year.
While it may seem like certain areas of town are more likely to have jaywalkers – no place is immune.
“It’s definitely a problem that we’re seeing city-wide. There are certainly hot-spots for it. Those hot-spots are not surprising. Grant and Alvernon is one of the hot-spots for collision data especially involving pedestrians,” Allen told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.
Last year alone, 28 pedestrians were killed on Tucson streets.
It’s not just the victim’s family and friends who suffer – the drivers who are involved also pay the emotional price.
“They had no intent most times to do anything to harm anyone. They were simply driving down the road and someone chose to cross mid-block wearing dark clothing at night. There was no ill intent on behalf of the driver, and it’s something they’ll have to live with for the rest of their life,” Allen told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.
“It’s education for people, you know, to realize that these vehicles are large and can hurt you,” Tucson driver, Gary Bruno told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.
If you have something you would like the News four Tucson Investigators to investigate, email us at Investigators@kvoa.com or call the News four Tucson Investigators tip-line at (520)955-4444.