Pedestrian safety advocate calls for change in road designs to reduce fatalities

Pedestrian safety advocated Emiko Atherton said in an interview that aired Monday on "Rising" that designing roads differently could lead to fewer pedestrian fatalities.  

"We actually need to start designing roads to the speeds we want them to because drivers are going to drive the speed of the road, not necessarily the speed limit," Atherton, director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, told Hill.TV's Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball last week. "So you can't just change the speed limits and not change the design." 

"The problem is we might design a road that can accommodate 70 miles per hour, and we mean it to be 45 miles an hour," she said. 

"It's just physics," she said. "If you were hit in the Best Buy parking lot, you're going to have a big bruise at most. If you're hit trying to cross a major highway, you are most likely going to die." 

Smart Growth America, which includes the National Complete Streets Coalition, published a report on Wednesday that found that from 2008 to 2017, over 49,000 people were hit and killed by vehicles across the country. 

The report found that the number is up 35 percent over the last decade. 

— Julia Manchester