Overall, statewide roadway fatalities in July totaled 38, bringing the 2018 total to 210, precisely what they were last year at this juncture.
Relatively speaking, those are the, unfortunately, less shocking numbers in the report. Meanwhile, what’s happening in Bernalillo County is truly remarkable:
Naturally, BernCo’s fatality figures are highest in New Mexico, yet noting the spike in June and July above, roadway deaths in Burque and environs are now on a monthly pace not seen in Traffic Research Unit reports going back to 2010. In no month prior to last month did BernCo have more than 13 traffic deaths, and no two-month period came close to the 29 deaths recorded in June/July, 2018.
While county-by-county figures only go back to 2010, it’s hard to imagine from the statewide figures back to 1995 that we’ve seen anything like the current ongoing Summer of roadway death in Bernalillo County. Most likely, we’ve never experienced so many people dying on BernCo roads in a two-month stretch.
As noted in news reports and here at Better Burque, one big factor has been crashes involving those walking and cycling our streets. Pedestrian deaths continue their implacably high rate of seven per month, continuing a record pace now of 85 in 2018. After many months without a “pedalcyclist” death, we’ve now had four in the past two months.
As with all data, particularly these Traffic Research Unit reports we’ve been passing along at Better Burque, the question is: What do we do with this information? More than we care to admit, the answer to that question has historically been pretty much nothing. High profile roadway deaths get attention; the steady and sometimes spiking regularity of traffic deaths on our streets is just public policy and awareness “white noise.”
It doesn’t have to be this way.