3 reasons why police say more pedestrians are getting hit in Henrico

Police investigate the August 2018 death of Rawleak Pryor. The teenager was killed crossing West Broad Street at night.

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — The number of pedestrian-related crashes increased by more than 30 percent in Henrico County from 2017 to 2018, according to numbers released by Henrico County Police.

The number of pedestrians (defined as any person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting, or lying down) injured in those crash increased from 81 to 111 year to year, while the number of pedestrian deaths increase by one from eight to nine.

“Based on initial analysis of crash data from 2017 and 2018, three trends have emerged: pedestrians wearing dark and/or non-reflective clothing; pedestrians under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs; pedestrian failure to cross at controlled intersection,” a Henrico Police spokesperson said. “These trends are not representative of all pedestrian-involved crashes.”

Henrico Police said officers were working to prevent pedestrian-related crashes.

One effort will be the “Watch Your Step” campaign.

The campaign’s goal is to “educate the public on how to stay safe while sharing our roadways.”

Last summer the Virginia Department of Transportation announced it would spend nearly $2 million in an effort to increase pedestrian safety at 11 busy intersections in Henrico and Chesterfield counties.

The project includes improvements to the following Henrico intersections:

West Broad St. and Pouncey Tract Rd./Pump Rd. (Rt. 271)
Patterson Ave. (Rt. 6) and Gaskins Rd. (Rt. 157)
Gaskins Rd. (Rt. 157) and Gayton Rd.
Gaskins Rd. (Rt. 157) and Quioccasin Rd.
Quioccasin Rd. (Rt. 157) and Pemberton Rd.
Lakeside Ave. (Rt. 161) and Hilliard Rd. (Rte. 356)
West Broad St. (Rt. 250) and North Gayton Rd.
Mechanicsville Turnpike (Rt. 360) and Laburnum Ave. (Rt. 197)

“Once complete, these improvements will enhance pedestrian safety at several busy intersections, especially for those with visual impairments,” Robert Vilak, VDOT Richmond District traffic engineer, said in a 2018 interview.

Work on the project was expected to be completed in spring 2019.

This is a developing story.

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