LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -According to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, Texas remains among the worst states for pedestrian deaths.
In the first six months of 2018, 298 Texas pedestrians died on or along Texas roadways. The death count was 32 higher than for the first six months of 2017.
In Lufkin, only two pedestrians died during 2017 – 2018 and one in Nacogdoches.
With the recent death of Nacogdoches Sheriff Deputy Brad Jimmerson, who was struck and killed by a vehicle on U.S. Highway 259 on October 5, 2018, Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges said pedestrian safety is still a concern.
"A lot of times in town I’ll be going down the street and there are a lot of crosswalks in town. I still see people not crossing at crosswalks. That’s dangerous,” said Bridges.
Other factors are time of day, texting while driving, and speed.
"As we know, a lot of these highways the speed limits have been raised over the years and you know vehicles are traveling over 70 to 75 mph on some of these highways. That’s a lot faster than 55, what it used to be,” said Bridges.
There are other likely factors, as well.
"But you know the key factors on that are early in the morning the sunlight in people’s eyes, texting and driving is a big key factor, you look down for a second at your phone and then you look up then there is somebody crossing the road,” said Chris Wade, Zavalla Police and Fire Chief.
Sheriff Bridges says his goal is to encourage both drivers and pedestrians to be cautious and follow the rules to ensure safety.
"Most accidents are preventable if both people will use caution on both sides. Speed is always the determining factor in the accident usually. Slow down, be a proactive driver,” said Bridges.