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Hit-and-run deaths on the rise

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports increase in cyclist and pedestrian fatalities

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Jan 4, 2013 6:57PM

If you live in Los Angeles or New York, you may want to pay extra close attention on the road. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these cities have the highest rates of pedestrian and cyclist deaths.

Photo: Ola Dusegard/Getty Images

A new study from NHTSA indicates that total fatalities decreased by 1.9 percent from 2010, but cyclist and pedestrian deaths increased. This mixed report shows alarming numbers: 8.7 percent increase in cyclist fatalities and three percent increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2011.

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In L.A., hit and runs involving pedestrians occur almost daily, reports NPR. In 2012, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) recorded more than 2,500 motor vehicle vs. pedestrian incidents ranging from minor injury to death. Pedestrian traffic fatalities in Los Angeles are nearly triple the national average, cites a study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

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“Just in the last few days, we’ve had three pedestrians who were killed when they were crossing the street,” Detective Bill Busto, the office in charge of LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division was quoted. He says that lie many cities across the country, L.A. drivers and pedestrians are increasingly distracted by electronic devices.

“Here we live in our vehicle practically, we commute everywhere we go,” Busto was quoted.

Bing: Traffic fatalities by state

“There’s so much – so many cases, so many victims, and not enough hours in the day,” LAPD officer Rhiannon Talley was quoted.

The need is clear: It is important to continue to keep overall traffic fatalities down and educate the public on driver distraction, red light running and speed in our intersections.

Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists – how do you practice caution and share the road?

Photo: Ola Dusegard/Getty Images

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