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Clark County kicks off 2024 with a near 70% spike in traffic fatalities

Surges in pedestrian and motorcyclist traffic deaths reported in Clark County the first month of 2024 translated to a nearly 70 percent spike in crash-related fatalities compared to January 2023, according to the Nevada Department of Traffic Safety.

The 38 people killed in Nevada crashes represented a 41 percent increase — and only six of those deaths occurred outside Clark County, a report released Friday shows.

Washoe County reported two traffic fatalities in January, while the counties of Carson, Elko, Humboldt and Lyon each reported one death, the report said.

All but two of the state’s 20 pedestrian deaths occurred in Clark County, which saw a 100 percent surge compared with January 2023, when nine pedestrians were killed, the report said.

A Las Vegas Review-Journal analysis of Southern Nevada fatal crashes involving people on foot showed that only three of them were in crosswalks when they were fatally injured.

The six motorcycle fatalities in Nevada occurred in Clark County, which only reported two motorcyclist deaths in January 2023, the report said.

Only one person killed in Nevada was not wearing a seat belt, the report said.

Local public safety experts note that traffic fatalities tend to fluctuate from month to month and cautioned that the heightened number of deaths one month doesn’t mean a trend will continue all year.

Still, the Metropolitan Police Department, which investigated most of the fatal crashes, urged motorists and pedestrians in January to be more cautious navigating valley roadways.

Metro Lt. Daryl Rhoads, part of the department’s unit that investigates serious crashes, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the overwhelming majority of fatal crashes were avoidable.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com.

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