Fatalities on Nevada roads hit a 10-year high last year.
Preliminary data from the Department of Public Safety show 331 people died in crashes in 2018, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. They died in 301 crashes and three-quarters of them happened in Clark County.
“In 2008 we were at 324, then we dropped to the mid 200s from about 2009 to 2013 and we then we saw a steady climb into the 300s in 2014,” public safety department spokesman Andrew Bennett said. “So, 331 is on the high end in the last decade, but we have seen a 4 percent population growth over the past two years in the state as well.”
Last year’s figures compare with the 311 deaths that happened in 292 crashes statewide in 2017. August of last year saw 37 fatalities, the most in a single month in 2018.
The state data also show fatalities caused by vehicle occupants who were not wearing seatbelts increased 23 percent over the year.
“Whether folks want to or not, it’s currently a secondary law in Nevada,” Bennett said, referring to the fact that officers in the state can only cite drivers for not wearing seat belts if they are stopped for a different infraction.
He added “Making it a primary law is something we’ve been pushing for a while now. I don’t want to point specifically to Nevada not having it as a primary law, but I do believe it is a factor.”
Pedestrian deaths declined from 98 in 2017 to 80 last year, the first drop in nine years.
Similarly, fewer bicyclists died last year, with the count dropping from nine to eight.
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