Pedestrian involved accidents increases in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

Ten pedestrians were killed on the streets of Fresno in 2010. That's compared to four deaths in 2009. In most cases, police say the person on foot was at fault.

The focus for Fresno Police this next year will be on keeping pedestrians safe. And officers will be targeting a surprising group.

Fresno Police say children are getting the message about using crosswalks and most drivers are easing off the gas in school zones -- but another group of the people is not getting the message.

"What we've discovered in looking at these pedestrian collisions is that we're not talking about the younger generation, the average age of a pedestrian this year that was killed in a collision is 50-years of age," said Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

In 2002, 52 people were killed in fatal accidents in Fresno. In 2006, 37 people died in collisions. And in 2010, 27 people lost their lives in traffic accidents.

In 2011 the police department says it will focus on ways to decrease pedestrian related fatal accidents. Tactics will include reaching out to agencies that serve the homeless, since many fatalities involve transients.

"We have a much higher expectation of adults to obey the laws of the road in terms of walking in crosswalks. But that's now what we're seeing with at least 10 of them this year," said Dyer.

Part of the police strategy will also include increasing enforcement efforts on jaywalkers. Officers say most fatal pedestrian accidents are happening at night and the victim's are usually dressed in dark clothing.

Of the pedestrian accidents, police say there's no specific hotspot, they are occurring equally all over town.

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