While October saw “only” 34 traffic fatalities in New Mexico, the already high rate of pedestrian deaths here soared dramatically to fourteen in October, almost doubling the previous monthly high in 2016 of eight, back in February. Here are the gruesome findings in a table from UNM’s Traffic Research Unit’s October monthly report.
The annual total, so far, of 66 pedestrian deaths places 2016 already above all years save two since 2006 (70 in 2006; 72 in 2014). Even with cooler weather reducing the number of pedestrians, 2016 has a chance to reach the all-time recorded high back in 1995, at 88.
What is going on here mirrors rate increases elsewhere in the country, but chances are unfortunately excellent that the State will retain its #1 status as the most dangerous place for pedestrians in the country. It is worth noting that the Traffic Research Unit cites these figures as preliminary, notable in that searching local media reports throughout the state doesn’t seem to show fourteen such deaths last month. Of course, it’s far more likely that the fourteen figure is correct, and that local media just isn’t getting around to reporting each death.
BB will do a bit of checking to confirm the figures. It is hoped local media outlets might do the same, and, if accurate, follow up with some reportage informing readers on the growing scope of this transportation epidemic. With pedestrians making up nearly half of ALL traffic fatalities in a month, deeper analysis is certainly warranted.