NC municipalities working to reverse alarming pedestrian death trend

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s been nearly five months since Reka Faison lost her son. 23-year-old Terrance Faison was killed by a drunk driver while he was walking along Poole Road in Raleigh.

“Even at this point, I’m still processing it, I’m still just trying to believe it happened,” said Faison.

Her son was one of 2,400 pedestrians killed in the first half of 2015 in the United States. It’s projected to be a record setting year, mostly due to an increase in distracted driving.

The national average of pedestrian deaths rose by about 10 percent as the economy improved, the price of gas plunged and motorists put more miles behind the wheel than ever before, according to a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents governors’ highway safety offices.

Pedestrian deaths in North Carolina were down 3 percent. There were 74 pedestrian deaths in the state last year, the 8th highest in the country, the report states.

Many North Carolina municipalities are working to make a safer environment for pedestrians. This week the town of Chapel Hill painted one of their crosswalks in an effort to alert drivers to those crossing the street.

“Over time people will become complacent, drivers in particular, when they see the same signs, the same crosswalk designs, which are fairly simple,” said David Bonk with the Town of Chapel Hill’s Long-Range Transportation Planning Department.

They have plans to paint more crosswalks in the coming months, a move that Faison supports and hopes can cut down on distracted driving.

“A distraction can be as quick as anything and that’s someone’s life that you can’t take back,” said Faison.

The report states nearly three quarters of people walking were hit after dark and a third of those killed had been drinking alcohol.

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