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Nearly 50 pedestrians killed in Jacksonville in 2021: How can this be stopped?

Reports show you are more likely to be hit by a car walking in Florida than in any other state.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — You are more likely to be hit by a car while walking in Florida than in any other state, according to a report by Smart Growth America.

Jacksonville ranks No. 10 in the country in their report for most dangerous cities for pedestrians. Last week, at least three people on the First Coast were hit by cars, and this week began with a pedestrian getting killed in a crash.

Florida Highway Patrol's Master Sgt. Dylan Bryan says the biggest problem is distracted driving. Around 50 pedestrians have been killed in traffic accidents this year, according to Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

"Every single traffic crash is 100% preventable," Bryan said. "You see the terrible tragedy on the news, you watch that, you don't like it, you turn the channel and you don't think about that. Every single day in our area, these tragedies occur. When you're experiencing it personally, it gets a little bit closer to home for you and hopefully that should get your attention to pay attention."

The City of Jacksonville is also working on pedestrian safety. A city spokesperson says a pedestrian crossing program is making crossing locations more visible and that the 6-cent gas tax increase will help address the backlog of projects to improve roads.

The gas tax to pay for road improvement projects allots almost $1 million for measures to slow traffic county-wide. First Coast News asked how the city picks where they'll do road projects to slow traffic. The spokesperson says they look at traffic engineering studies and a petition process through neighborhood requests.

Last week, a 10-year-old boy and his mother were seriously hurt when they were crossing the street at a school bus stop and hit by a car on Hyde Park Road. A boy was hit by a car walking to his school bus in September on Losco Road. Neighbors on both streets say crashes and speeding are too common.

"People speeding up and down the road and there's no traffic light," Jennifer Flanagan told First Coast News in September about Losco Road.

"We see this so often that we have to spring into action," said Christian Craven about Losco Road.

"It looks like the Daytona 500," Richard Carroll said about Hyde Park Road in December.

"We usually have an accident here at least once every couple of months," Jeremy Church said about Hyde Park Road.

Jennifer Flanagan on Losco Road says she put in a request to the city for a solution to slow traffic, but a city spokesperson says they don't have any requests for Losco Road in their system. They say 26 crashes have been reported on Losco Road this year.

You can put in a service request by clicking this link or calling 630-CITY. The requests entered into their system and goes to the agency that will work on it. 

See what other road projects the gas tax will pay for here.

Read about the penalties of a hit-and-run from Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ “Stay at the Scene“ campaign here.

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