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35 traffic deaths this year include 13 pedestrians & More News

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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – A Wednesday-morning collision in east Wichita marked the city’s 35th traffic death of 2022 and the 13th traffic-related death of a pedestrian so far this year. Wichita Police Department Captain Wendell Nicholson Jr. said this year is on pace with the numbers from 2021 in which the city saw 47 traffic deaths.

“Everything after the pandemic spiked, from homicides to traffic fatalities,” Nicholson said. “I think people just weren’t used to driving, weren’t paying attention. And I think those are some of the things we’re seeing now as far as our accidents.”

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It’s not just a local concern. Numbers from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration show there was a 5% increase during the first half of 2022 nationally with an estimated 20,175 deaths. While estimates show accidents declining overall for the first time since 2020, from April to June, it’s still a cause for awareness.

“Of the 35 (deadly) accidents we’ve had, 13 have been pedestrians, nine have been motorcycles, three have been passengers in the car and 15 have been drivers,” Nicholson said.

The City of Wichita is working to collect data concerning areas that have higher numbers of crashes and fatalities and with that, step up enforcement.

“The area where the fatal accident happened (Wednesday) morning was not on our radar, but we do move around, depending on the accidents and fatalities that occur,” Nicholson said.

He added that the Wichita City Council approved have more intersections painted and that the WPD is working closely with civil engineers on what can be done to improve crosswalks.

Nicholson said the period from October through December tends to be the highest for accidents on Wichita streets. With trick-or-treaters set to hit the streets this weekend into Monday night, Nicholson is advocating for drivers and pedestrians to be aware.

35 traffic deaths this year include 13 pedestrians

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35 traffic deaths this year include 13 pedestrians

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35 traffic deaths this year include 13 pedestrians

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