According to a recent report, 562 residents were killed while walking the state’s roads from 2003 to 2017, making Connecticut the 25th worst state for pedestrian safety. Fairfield County ranked third in the state in pedestrian deaths and first in people killed while walking along major roadways.
Pedestrian Accidents and Deaths in Bridgeport, CT
The Bridgeport-Norwalk-Stamford area had 98 pedestrian deaths during the period covered by the report. More than 10 pedestrians were killed in Bridgeport while walking along side various Bridgeport roads/highways since 2010.
A tristate transportation campaign has called for changes on Route 1, which includes North and Boston avenues in Bridgeport. The campaign resulted from the 23 pedestrian deaths on Route 1 from 2010-2017. Pedestrians were injured in 230 crashes on Route 1 in Fairfield County during that period.
The AARP has taken interest in the safety of walkers because senior citizens account for one of every five pedestrian fatalities. In Connecticut, adults 65 and older accounted for 35% of those killed in pedestrian accidents from 2003-2017.
Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Occur?
In Connecticut, more than half of pedestrian accidents happen on arterial roads, which are often designed and operated to maximize the speed of automotive traffic, not for pedestrian safety, despite running through places where people need/want to walk. About 52% of fatalities from 2003-2017 happen on roads with a speed limit of 40 mph or higher. Only 0.3% of pedestrian deaths happened on streets with a speed limit of 20 mph or lower.
In recent years Connecticut passed a law protecting “vulnerable users” – including those in wheelchairs, highway workers and walkers. The law fines a driver who “fails to exercise reasonable care and causes the serious physical injury or death of a vulnerable user of a public way” up to $1,000. Finally, pedestrians are getting the protection they deserve.