Pedestrian safety a concern in New Hanover County
For eight consecutive years, AAA has rated New Hanover County as the state’s most dangerous county for drivers.
Statistics also show the county has become more dangerous for pedestrians. Between 2007 and 2008 the number of pedestrian fatalities on New Hanover County roads doubled.
Last month, Neil Harrison’s wife Nicole was struck and killed in the 7400 block of Market Street in Ogden. “Since I’ve moved here in September, my friend has been hit by a car and now my wife. Obviously it’s a real concern and a real problem,” Harrison said.
Harrison said his wife was wearing light colored clothing and walking against traffic, two tips highway patrol recommends for pedestrians.
Pedestrian fatalities doubled from ’07 to ’08. These numbers do not include roads within Wilmington city limits. In 2007 there were two deaths, however last year, four people were killed in New Hanover County.
AAA reports New Hanover County has more accidents per miles driven than any of the state’s 100 counties.
“It’s just a heavily populated area, very congested, a small county,” said Trooper Benjamin Brewington of the NC Highway Patrol.
According to the DOT, walkways and crossings are only added at intersections where more than 25 pedestrians cross in a four-hour time span.
While one pedestrian fatality is one too many, the DOT reminds that in order to evaluate the statistics its important to note that the number of pedestrians also may have increased.
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