A reminder of one of our greatest threats

For all of the threats that Carson City, and any other city for that matter, presents to its residents, one of the worst was demonstrated on Thursday when a driver narrowly missed a family in a crosswalk on College Parkway, but hit and killed their dog they were walking on a leash.

Make no mistake about it, crossing a street in Carson City is dangerous business.

Sheriff Kenny Furlong doesn't think Carson City's problem is any worse than most other cities, but he believes it's becoming more dangerous to cross streets. That's not just because there is more traffic. He believes there are more distracted drivers, thanks to cell phones combined with people being in a hurry to get where they're going. Statewide statistics back him up, showing an increasing number of crosswalk fatalities. There were 64 in 2002, the last year for which records are available.

What's to be done?

Some communities have crosswalks that have strips of lights that flash when someone enters, but Carson City doesn't exactly have lots of extra cash in its pockets to install those devices. The Sheriff's Department is doing what it can to make crosswalks safer, including doing special enforcement, where an officer crosses streets and drivers who do not stop are ticketed. You'll see temporary caution signs go up soon at some of the busier crosswalks.

But none of it will be enough to ensure that more accidents will not occur, especially with spring weather here and pedestrian traffic increasing.

If you're a driver, be aware and prepared to stop at intersections, not only because you might get a $142 citation, but because it might save a life. Pedestrians have the right-of-way.

And if you're a pedestrian, don't assume that every driver is aware of that fact.


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