No. Back in the ’90s we thought that our weather and tourism were big factors in this issue, but when you look at the corridors where the problems are, it’s not in areas of high tourism. It’s primarily in areas where we have high dependency on walking and transit where folks are having to walk from place to place because they aren’t car owners or they choose to not drive. So it’s a mixture. It’s mixing pedestrians in higher-speed corridors.
Primarily, does the blame go to the motorists, or is there a sprinkling of responsibility for the accidents from the pedestrians?
Depending on whose numbers you look at, the tendency is to be to blame the pedestrians. The challenge that we have is that very rarely are the crashes witnessed, and so the pedestrian is dead and the drivers blame the pedestrian. So it’s very difficult, I mean based on facts, which is what we engineers like to operate from, it’s very difficult to verify that that’s in fact true, but that’s how it gets recorded. If you go to the crash reports, the drivers will say, “Well, the pedestrian stepped out in front of me.”
And I think in some cases that’s true, but when I look at the Orlando area where I live and I look at the reports in the paper and it’s overwhelmingly the drivers saying, “The pedestrian stepped out in front me.” Personally, I have a difficult time accepting that pedestrians are just stepping out in front of cars that are speeding down on them. As a motorist, you’re supposed to maintain control of your vehicle, so I have a hard time accepting that it’s primarily the pedestrians at fault, but statistically that’s what it shows. I mean, drivers by and large are driving too fast for conditions and things of that nature as well, but if you look at the data, it will show you that the pedestrians are primarily at fault.