Monday, February 8, 2010

Ventura County Takes Notice

In a clear effort to win my heart, Scott Hadly titled his part of the Ventura County Star's feature on traffic safety "Driving riskiest thing people do, yet traffic safety gets little notice." Scott, you have no idea.

The series combines personal stories with hard data on 15 years of fatal crashes in Ventura County, even providing some fancy online spreadsheets for data geeks like me to play around with.

A few quick statistics:
  • Between 1994 and 2008 1,005 people were killed in Ventura County traffic crashes.
  • 208 of the fatalities were pedestrians--that's about 21 percent of all deaths. As I've complained about before, we don't make the effort to count how many people actually walk in Ventura County (or anywhere, for that matter), so it's hard to say just how disproportionate that is--but given that nationwide walk trips are around six percent of travel, we can assume that pedestrians are dying at much rates than they should be.
  • About a third of pedestrian fatalities were related to speeding. This shouldn't come as a surprise, as pedestrian death rates jump dramatically with speed. Traffic calming anyone?

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