Traffic fatalities increased dramatically in Washoe and seven small Nevada counties during the first half of 2014.
But with the number of deaths dropping from 104 to just 74 in Clark County, the overall total through July 7 was actually down nine deaths to 124.
One good sign is he number of alcohol related fatalities continued to drop in 2014 with just 18 through six months compared to 33 in 2013.
Carson City also saw a decrease in fatalities from five in 2013 to just two thus far this year.
But Washoe County saw fatalities double from 11 to 22 in the first half of the year.
The percentage increases for seven other small counties were up sharply, but mostly because those small counties saw zero or one fatal accident in 2013. Elko went from no deaths to eight, Lyon from zero to six and Churchill from zero to one fatality in the past six months. Lander and Eureka each reported three deaths and Storey one. Humboldt had four fatalities compared to just one a year ago.
Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman Meg Ragonese said despite those increases, the state has made excellent progress over the past half dozen years in reducing traffic deaths. Total deaths in 2013 were just 267 and she said while that’s still a horrible toll, it’s significantly better than the 432 which died on Nevada roads in 2006 when the state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan was developed.
The ultimate goal, she said, is zero deaths.
NDOT’s part in the program is continued safety projects to save lives and prevent injury. That includes center line rumble strips among other enhancements especially in rural areas.