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Nevada traffic fatalities down slightly through July

Updated August 10, 2020 - 7:41 am

Fatal crashes in Nevada are down slightly through July compared with the same period last year, even though traffic volumes have been lower during the coronavirus pandemic.

Through July, there have been 143 fatal crashes in Nevada resulting in 153 deaths, according to numbers released by the Nevada Department of Public Safety. That’s a nearly 8 percent decline from the 154 fatal crashes during the first seven months of 2019, with fatalities down nearly 3 percent from 157 in 2019.

Despite the improvement, Department of Public Safety spokesman Andrew Bennett said one death is too many.

Bennett highlighted incidents such as the fatal crash last week involving a pair of Del Sol High School students, killed while in a marked crosswalk by an impaired driver.

“The deaths of Nelly Amaya-Ramirez and Citlali Mora leave an incredible feeling of loss and sadness felt throughout the community, as well as rage that Nevada residents continue to make the selfish and irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel of a car while impaired,” Bennett said. “The loss of lives on Monday night (Aug. 3) of two girls with their whole lives ahead of them was completely preventable and absolutely should not have occurred.”

Bennett urges residents not to let friends or family members drive if they appear intoxicated and to keep an eye out for drunk drivers while on valley roads.

“If you see a car in front of you excessively speeding, swerving or exhibiting alarming driving behaviors call 911 or *NHP immediately,” Bennett said. “In today’s world, we have learned that everyone should work together for the safety of the collective.”

The deaths of the two high school students highlight the issues pedestrians face on state roads. Indeed, the number of pedestrian fatalities through July — 43 — is the same as in the first seven months of 2019. Of those, 33 have been on Clark County roads, Bennett said.

“It is important that everyone has a responsibility to look out for each other — both pedestrians and drivers — while using Nevada’s roads,” Bennett said. “We must all look out for each other and work together to achieve no lives lost on Nevada’s roads.”

Cyclist deaths in Clark County saw a 100 percent year-over-year decrease through July, with no deaths reported, down from the four seen during the first seven months last year.

Occupant deaths in fatal crashes are up 8 percent through July, with 81 occupants dying in crashes, up from the 75 during the same period last year.

The spike in occupant deaths comes despite a 5 percent drop in fatalities tied to unrestrained passengers, which fell from 35 through July 2019 to 33 during the same time this year.

Northern 215 Beltway

After nearly two years of traffic disruptions, the $68 million northern 215 Beltway project was completed last week.

The project included the addition of interchanges on the 215 at Pecos, Lamb and Losee roads, with improved lighting, updated medians and drainage facilities.

“This project makes traveling along the northern Beltway more efficient for the 20,000 drivers who use it every day,” said Clark County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick in a statement. “The flood control improvements are also significant and should help quickly remove water from the roads and prevent major flooding in this area.”

Four miles of the Beltway between North Fifth Street and Range Road now functions as a full freeway after the addition of the new interchanges.

Send questions and comments to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com. Please include your phone number. Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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