Yesterday, the AP reported that pedestrian deaths surged by an estimated 10 percent last year. Now, the big question is why?
Gas prices are lower than they have been in twelve years, so more people have been behind the wheel. And a mild winter coupled with increased awareness of walking’s many health benefits have more people pounding the pavement. Although, when they hear that nearly 400 people died each month while trying to pad their pedometer stats, perhaps they will think twice, or maybe wear something more reflective.
One big cause may be personal devices distracting drivers and walkers - by now, everyone has heard of the texting tween who fell in the well. Well it was a sewer, but you get the point, and it's less whimsical.
According to the president of the Amalgamated Transit Union, a big cause of pedestrian death is bad bus design. According to the ATU, a pedestrian is killed every 10 days by a city bus because of blind spots in poorly designed buses. Hanley was a little more blunt when he said, "Until the industry demands a change in the design of buses ... people will continue to die."
So you can understand the disappointment when on the same day Metropolitan Transportation Authority rolled out new buses as part of a plan to modernize New York City's transit system, and the bold new design features included WI-Fi access and charging ports.
When you play the numbers, I suppose one corpse every ten days isn't as bad as buses filled with unruly passengers cursing themselves for not plugging in their device before bed. When they get cranky, they get loud.
I'm David Mantey, and this is IEN Now.