Arizona sees rise in deaths of pedestrians, bicyclists

2014-06-07T00:05:00Z 2014-06-07T12:35:17Z Arizona sees rise in deaths of pedestrians, bicyclistsBy Carmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The number of people who died in vehicle fatalities in Arizona last year increased slightly over 2012, but records showed significant increases in the number of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists killed.

In 2013 there were 844 fatalities statewide, compared with 821 in 2012, according to an annual report by the Arizona Department of Transportation. The highest annual number of motor-vehicle crash fatalities in Arizona — 1,301 — occurred in 2006.

The data is compiled from law enforcement agencies across the state for incidents on all state and local roads.

However, other areas showed significant increases in the number of deaths year over year:

Pedestrians

Last year, 158 pedestrians were killed in the state, compared with 131 in 2012 and 154 in 2011, according to the report . That’s a 21 percent increase in 2013 over 2012.

Bicyclists

There were 30 bicyclists killed last year, compared with 18 in 2012 — a 67 percent increase — and 23 in 2011.

Motorcyclists

There were 149 motorcycle riders or passengers who died in the state last year, about 7 percent higher compared with 139 motorcycle deaths in 2012 and 132 in 2011.

Alcohol-related fatalities

The number of those fatalities dropped by more than 7 percent last year compared with 2012. In 2013, 262 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes. There were 283 deaths in 2012 and 287 in 2011, the report says. The total number of reported alcohol-related crashes was down from 5,460 in 2012 to 5,190 in 2013, ADOT officials say.

“The decrease in alcohol-related crashes and deaths is welcome news but doesn’t change our mission to stop impaired driving,” said Alberto Gutier, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “We have to keep up the battle because nearly a third of the fatal crashes in the state last year were alcohol-related.”

Financial impact

Motor-vehicle crashes resulted in $2.99 billion in economic losses for Arizona.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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