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A Push for Pedestrian Safety in Nevada

nevada pedestrian Accident

As Nevadans continue to grow accustomed to the new norm in the month of July, they face a growing number of Covid-19 cases, which has resulted in the extension of Phase 2 reopening to the end of the month. As businesses and casinos begin reopening in downtown Reno, the Reno police have noticed a spike in pedestrian-related incidents in the area. Pedestrian accidents were also reported in the Clark County area. Could this new pattern be attributed to an increase of traffic after stagnant levels during the quarantine period?

How Covid-19 has Unfolded in Nevada

Nevada took early action in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic, shutting down all non-essential businesses in mid-March. This resulted in the closure of the world famous Las Vegas Strip as well as the casinos and hotels. [1] Though this closure resulted in economic hardships for many Nevadans, it helped keep new Covid-19 cases low, and daily new coronavirus infections remained in the low 100s through most of April, May, and early June, with occasional one-day spikes into the mid-200s. [2]

As Nevada began reopening businesses, around the same time as other states across the nation, cases began to soar in Nevada, along with California, Texas, and Florida seeing an increase in cases. On June 15 the state saw an all-time high of 379 new cases. This record high was once again broken just days later, and the final week of June saw ten times as many new daily cases. On June 26 alone, the state recorded 1099 new infections. [3]

All Nevadans are advised to wear masks when making contact with others, and Governor Sisolak has required business to require masks in order for patrons to enter. [4] Businesses are also taking extra precautions, such as checking patrons’ body temperature before entry or requiring staff to get tested before returning to work. Businesses hope these precautions will protect both their customers and workers. They have also increased sanitation measures—putting up clear plastic barriers between customer and workers, disinfecting surfaces regularly, and using hand sanitizer or gloves regularly.

Free Covid-19 testing is also being offered in several locations throughout Reno/ Sparks, Carson City, and Las Vegas. Testing centers have been set up in various stores such as Target, Walmart, and CVS. Centers have also been set up in tents behind urgent cares and hospitals.  The CDC also suggests that everyone familiarize themselves with symptoms of Covid-19 for quicker identification. The symptoms of this ailment are as follows:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The CDC also notes that symptom can vary depending on the patient, and many patients may be asymptomatic. While many have noticed that older adults are likely to contract Covid-19, those with autoimmune disorders, diabetes, or other underlying conditions have suffered from complications of the disease. 19 [5]

Pedestrian and Traffic Safety

Reno downtown area traffic that was almost non-existent during the months of April and May, began to pick up as casinos and businesses began reopening in early June. With this increase in traffic, the Reno Police Department saw a rise in pedestrian related incidents in the area. To crack down on both careless drivers and pedestrians not paying heed to cross safely, the police department led a safety crackdown in the area. [6] This led to 63 citations and 23 warnings. This serves as a reminder to drivers that pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks. This is also a reminder to pedestrians that in accordance to Nevada law, they must use sidewalks, cross-walks, and pedestrian bridges, and obey traffic signs. [6]

However, other parts of Reno have seen pedestrian related accidents as well. One person was declared dead in a pedestrian accident off Pyramid Highway in Reno on June 27 at 9 pm. Though the driver was not impaired, it is suspected that restricted night vision played a part in this accident. [7]

Las Vegas also saw some pedestrian-related accidents. On June 15, a Las Vegas woman was struck by a vehicle in the eastern part of the city. The woman was reportedly crossing on a marked crosswalk, and the nineteen year old driver was arrested. This accident was the 40th pedestrian accident this year in Las Vegas. [8]

While Las Vegas has seen many pedestrian accidents this year, they have also had to deal with another traffic safety issue – Bicyclists. On July 3, a fatal hit and run bicycle crash occurred at 11 p.m. Police are working on identifying the suspect. [9]

It can be noted that many of these accidents occurred during the night, where the visibility of both parties are restricted. To ensure pedestrian or cyclist safety during the nighttime, experts suggest wearing bright clothes, equip reflectors, learn proper hand signals, and refrain from using headphones or anything distracting. [10]

As Nevadans deal with the economic and social repercussions of this global pandemic, their attention has been diverted from traffic safety. From Washoe to Clark County, Nevada drivers and pedestrians need to remember to take extra precautions and check their surroundings when on the road.

 

[1] https://lasvegassun.com/news/2020/mar/17/sisoak-to-announce-statewide-shutdown-of-casinos-n

[2] https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov

[3] Ibid.

[4] https://www.ktnv.com/news/coronavirus/phase-2-directive-for-nevada-explained

[5] https://www.kolotv.com/content/news/63-cited-in-Reno-pedestrian-traffic-crack-down-571230721.html

[6] Ibid.

[7] https://www.kolotv.com/2020/06/28/pedestrian-killed-in-crash-on-pyramid-way/

[8] https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/east-valley/pedestrian-hit-killed-by-vehicle-in-east-las-vegas-2051404/

[9] https://www.ktnv.com/news/news-blogs/las-vegas-breaking-news-for-july-3-2020

[10] https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/summer/bicycles

 

 

 

 

 

 

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