Highway fatalities increase, but still below previous years

CARSON CITY — A total of 256 people were killed in accidents on Nevada roads and highways in 2010, an increase of 13 from the previous year but still less than just a few years ago.

“There was an increase,” said Tracy Pearl, administrator for the state Office of Traffic Safety. “But it is still far better than what it used to be.”

The number of people killed in accidents in 2009 was the lowest in 20 years.

Even with the increase, Pearl said Thursday that the fatality total is far less than the record 434 people killed in 2006.

She said steps have been taken since then to improve Nevada roads, but the most important way to prevent fatalities is by having people “always drive safely and attentively and wear seat belts.”

In Clark County, 149 people were killed in traffic accidents last year, up five from 2009.

“One death on our roads is too many,” said Susan Martinovich, director of the Nevada Department of Transportation. “Buckling up, paying attention to the road and not driving under the influence can save lives.”

Since the record number of fatalities in 2006, NDOT has added 2,000 miles of center-line rumble strips on freeways and highways, and installed pedestrian walking countdown times at 120 crosswalks. All peace officers also have taken child passenger safety training programs.

Through the Office of Traffic Safety’s Joining Forces program, the Nevada Highway Patrol and all state law enforcement agencies have participated in a coordinated effort to improve traffic safety.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at or 775-687-3901.

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