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Little Rock drivers urged to be cautious while on roads

Little Rock has recently seen an increase in pedestrian deaths. So far this year, 22 people were killed in car accidents, and 11 of those were pedestrians.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Now that the school year has begun, that means that more people have been out on the roads, and more people, means that people need to pay closer attention to traffic.

Recently, Little Rock has seen an increase in pedestrian deaths.

The Little Rock Police Department said that this year alone, there have been 22 people killed in car accidents, and of those, 11 of them were pedestrians.

John Landosky, leader of Little Rock's friendly driver certification program, said that while he bikes to work downtown almost daily, he doesn't always feel safe. 

"I'm very aware of vehicles around me and they do make me nervous," Landosky explained.

The goal of the friendly driver certification program is to help teach drivers about safety around cyclists as well as pedestrians.

"I have every right to a full lane of traffic like a vehicle but people in vehicles don't always see it that way. And they have a two-ton, you know, a weapon that they can use against somebody at any time. So yeah, it is scary," he said.

Little Rock Patrol Officer Kyle Henson, explained that the biggest factor in most car accidents is drivers going over the speed limits.

"Speed limits, they're there for a reason. You know, it's not just an arbitrary number. They have been studied by traffic engineers, and those are put there for a reason," Henson said.

Officer Henson added that the department usually sees an uptick in deadly accidents during the summer, but those numbers went up drastically last month when five pedestrians died in separate crashes.

"We're still on pace to either break records or create new records in statewide total fatal accidents we're seeing in the state and nation as well," he said.

Officer Henson mentioned that several of the deadly crashes in the city have happened along University Avenue. He also added that most take place after sundown.

"Definitely at night, and that's where the big number of our accidents happen is we'll have a few during the day during the morning hours, but most of them happen after sunset," he said. 

Officer Henson said that it is important that everyone stay vigilant and aware of their surroundings, no matter what time of day it is.

"I know in our driving school, we talked about, you know, a 360 or a 540-degree awareness of what's going around you not just what's in front of you. But what's on the side of you what's coming up behind you," he described.

Landosky added that it is everyone's responsibility to help keep the roads safe. 

You can find out more about the Friendly Driver Certification program here.


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