Police: 49 people killed on Jacksonville roads so far this year

2 pedestrians struck, 1 fatally, in Northeast Florida on Tuesday

By Chris Parenteau - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Two people were hit by vehicles Tuesday while walking on Northeast Florida roads.

One survived, the other did not.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a pedestrian was struck Tuesday afternoon by an SUV and critically injured while walking along State Road A1A, just south of St. Augustine Beach.

In Jacksonville, troopers said, a woman was hit and killed Tuesday morning while trying to cross 103rd Street at the intersection of Weconnett Boulevard on the city's Westside. 

So far this year, 49 people, including pedestrians, have died on Jacksonville roads, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. That's 13 more than last year at this time. 

Many areas in the city have crosswalks, but some still cross in areas -- such as Beach Boulevard on the Southside -- where no crosswalks exist.

Tuesday's crashes show how busy and dangerous roads can be for both drivers and pedestrians. 

"I feel safest on the sidewalk. But then, pedestrians are in danger of bicyclists," said James West, who rides his bike and walks frequently on the Westside, near Tuesday morning's fatal crash.

West told News4Jax that at some intersections, the lights don't give pedestrians enough time to cross.

"It's good for most people, but you have to rush. I’ve had to do it. I’ve walked around these areas or rode my bike. It gives you about 30 seconds, I think, or 20 seconds to cross the street," West said. "You have to rush."

According to JSO, from 2012 to 2017, there were 233 pedestrian traffic deaths -- an average of 39 a year.

The Sheriff's Office said that pedestrian deaths account for about 26 percent of all traffic fatalities. It also said its officers wrote 481 pedestrian citations each year during that time frame -- a little more than one a day. 

"It happens all over town -- in the middle of downtown, out in the surburbs," JSO Public Information Office Christian Hancock said. "It doesn't matter."

It's incumbent on all drivers to watch out for pedestrians. And it's important for pedestrians to make sure not to step out in the road in front of moving vehicles. 

State troopers are also in the middle of a campaign for distracted driving awareness month. They are trying to educate drivers on limiting distractions behind the wheel and paying more attention to the road and what’s around -- whether it's other cars, bikes or people walking.

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