As of August 1, there have already been 15 people killed walking in Nashville, making this the most deadly first seven months of the year on record for pedestrians. In response to the devastating increase in the number of people killed, Walk Bike Nashville is re-launching the Look for Me campaign just in time for the increase in traffic that comes with the start of the school year in Davidson county. This campaign, which is funded by the TN Highway Safety Office, includes radio ads and billboards to educate drivers about what can be done to prevent injuring and killing people who are walking.
“We want to jolt people out of their complacency and build empathy for our neighbors on foot,” said Nora Kern, executive director of Walk Bike Nashville, “It’s simply unacceptable that this many people are being killed walking in our city. The city government, the state department of transportation and each one of us needs to take responsibility to ensure not one more person is killed walking in Nashville.”
The campaign emphasizes that speeding greatly increases your chance of a crash with a person walking. Just a five-mile-per-hour decrease in speed can be the difference between life and death. In Nashville, more than 75% of all pedestrian fatalities occur at night and more than 80% of all pedestrian fatalities occurred on state-controlled arterial roads. These arterial roads, including Murfreesboro, Old Hickory, Gallatin, and Nolensville Pikes, have speed limits over 30 mph, multiple lanes, few safe crosswalks and high numbers of transit riders.
“Each and every person killed is a loss to our community, said Kern, “we all have a responsibility to look out for each other, stay alert at night, and slow down.”