Rise in Nashville Pedestrian Deaths Prompts Call for Change

By Thompson Law

Nashville is one of the most walkable cities in Tennessee. Residents and visitors can often run daily errands and enjoy local amenities without a car. Nashville’s walkable infrastructure does not extend throughout the entire city, however.

Distracted drivers, drunk drivers, and speeders threaten the lives of pedestrians each day throughout the Music City.

2019 the deadliest year for pedestrians

In the wake of Nashville’s deadliest year for pedestrians, safety advocates and community members have called for change, according to FOX17 Nashville.

Lindsey Ganson is the director of local bicycle safety advocacy group Walk Bike Nashville. She cites a drastic yearly increase in Nashville pedestrian deaths.

“Thirty-two people killed is a dramatic increase from 22 people just last year and 12 people a decade ago in 2009,” said Ganson.

Five reported pedestrian deaths were already reported in Nashville this year, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Walk Bike Nashville’s executive director Nora Kern says that the focus should be on preventing crashes rather than placing blame.

“If you have a lot of people dying in the same place, it’s not any individual’s fault alone, it’s also the fault of the street itself,” said Kern. “So, we should be looking at that systemic approach; how can we change the streets themselves?’”

Nashville mayor adopts Vision Zero goal

Mayor John Cooper recently adopted the Vision Zero goal of eliminating pedestrian fatalities throughout the city. Vision Zero was first established in Sweden during the 1990s. It has set the goal of achieving zero traffic fatalities by the year 2050. It has proven to be effective across Europe. Now, many municipalities across the United States are adopting the same goals.

According to Cooper, Nashville leads Tennessee in the number of serious crashes. He seeks to change this by improving the overall transportation infrastructure.

“It is a strategy that will seek to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries in Nashville and Davidson County,” said Cooper.

Cooper’s commitment to Vision Zero will require these strategies:

  • Leadership, collaboration, and accountability among transportation professionals, policymakers, public health officials, law enforcement, and the community

  • Collection and analysis of data to ascertain how certain groups are impacted by traffic fatalities

  • Encouraging community involvement

  • Establishing safe citywide speed limits

  • Setting a goal and timeline for zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries

Legal Help for injured pedestrians

Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users in Nashville. They are more likely than motorists to sustain serious and life-threatening injuries in a collision.

The attorneys at Thompson Law regularly see the pain and anguish injured pedestrians (and their families) go through. We see how a driver’s moment of inattention or reckless behavior changes someone’s life for the worst.

If you were hurt in a pedestrian collision, or lost a loved one, we can help you pursue the justice you deserve. Contact us online to find out how.

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