Las Vegas fatalities on the rise

In the first three months of 2022, Nevada saw a year-over-year decline in road fatalities. That’s the good news.

Now the bad news: Despite the positive direction the state is taking, Clark County’s numbers continued to deteriorate in the first quarter of the year.

Through March, there were 70 crash-related deaths on Nevada’s roads, a 14% drop from the first three months of 2021, when 80 fatalities occurred.

Soberingly, Clark County accounted for 59 of those road deaths. This is a 23% spike from the first quarter of 2021. These fatalities occurred in 50 fatal crashes.

One of the most notable multi-fatal accidents happened in late January when nine people were killed in northern Las Vegas in a single wreckage. A speeding and drunk driver caused the tragic crash when he ran a red light at over 100mph. The driver, Gary Robinson, the passenger in his vehicle and seven other people in a van that Robinson’s vehicle hit died.

This year has also seen a notable increase in the number of vehicle occupant fatalities, with 24, a 41% increase over the same period last year.

Pedestrian fatalities are also on the rise in Clark County, with 21 fatalities on Southern Nevada roads, up 17% from 18 fatalities in 2021 through March.

The state and county goal is still zero deaths, and that Clark County is moving in the wrong direction worries the region’s traffic safety director.

“We’ve had an absolutely horrible start to the year,” said Andrew Bennett, director of the Clark County Department of Traffic Safety. “We had fatal times at nine, which is strongly present in these numbers. Being up 22% is disappointing. That’s now a three-year raise for Clark County.

Bennett, who held the same title with the state for many years before starting the role with County this year, said it’s up to every driver to do better.

“We’re down to three things that we’re trying to get the riders to do,” Bennett said. “Slow down, always drive sober and fasten your seatbelt. These are three behaviors that we are unfortunately seeing on the rise. … We’re working with all of our partners to make sure we get that message across as much as possible, but we’re also ready to respond and let people know that we take this seriously.

The increase in road fatalities in Clark County is of particular concern as 2021 saw 235 fatalities, a 22% increase from 2020. Last year was the deadliest year on Nevada roads in 15 years with 382 deaths.

Last year, the county averaged about 20 deaths per month. Through March of this year, the county is on track to match that number, but it’s not too late to change the trend, Bennett said.

“I like the direction the state is going, and I think we (Clark County) are going to start heading in the right direction in the summer, and hopefully throughout the year we can normalize the numbers and move in the same direction. as the state is global.

With what is considered the “100 deadliest days” ahead — from Memorial Day to Labor Day, when summer road trips mostly happen — Bennett and other traffic safety officials said. will rely on education and law enforcement to hope for safer roads.

“We work every day in the county to coordinate our resources and coordinate our response,” Bennett said. “We still struggle a lot with recklessness and speed. There are several high-profile changes in application, education, and engineering happening as we speak to combat these numbers.

Contact Mick Akers at [email protected] or 702-387-2920. To follow @mickakers on Twitter. Send your questions and comments to [email protected]