Things aren’t looking too good for Hillsborough County. 2015 was the deadliest year on record for pedestrians in Hillsborough County, with a record death toll of 51. This is a substantial jump from the previous years where the average was in the 30s.
To make matters worse there is no pattern to the accidents. Some people were killed while using the crosswalk. Others died while attempting to cross a few yards away from a crosswalk. Pedestrians have been fatally hit at night and during the day while attempting to cross busy streets and smaller roads. Six people were killed walking along Hillsborough Ave. where there was no sidewalk.
There seems to be no safe place to walk in Tampa. Tampa has spent millions of dollars investing in pedestrian safety projects. Yet, despite all of the public awareness campaigns and safety projects the death tolls continue to rise.
The heart of the issue is the tension between mobility and safety. The road planning in Tampa Bay emphasizes mobility. Tampa Bay’s history for worst commuting times breeds hurried, impatient drivers who aren’t paying attention to pedestrians. City officials hurry to widen the roads or increase speed limits to help with traffic issues while ignoring safety measures for foot traffic. But the cities attempts to increase mobility by widening lanes or increasing speed limits isn’t helping the commuting times or pedestrian safety.
The drastic increase in pedestrian deaths has created a safety problem that is impossible to ignore. What Tampa Bay Area officials will do to fix the issue has yet to be determined. However, it is important to remain aware of your surroundings whether you are a pedestrian or a driver, especially in Hillsborough County. The rules regarding pedestrian safety can prompt a lot of questions. Request a free copy of our “Florida Pedestrian Accident Guide” as a quick resource to provide useful answers to any questions or concerns you might have regarding pedestrian accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident and need help, please do not hesitate to call.