2012: A Deadly Year on Nevada Roads - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

2012: A Deadly Year on Nevada Roads

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The numbers are no surprise to Reno Police Sgt. Brian Adamson. "You warn people, you tell them until you're blue in the face about the dangers of drinking and driving, aggressive driving, yet we still see it out here on the roads."

Statewide, traffic deaths increased last year. There were 258 traffic fatalities, an increase of 12 over the year before. Pedestrian deaths were also up by 12. Breaking it down, Washoe and Mineral county fatalities were up by one. Storey County was fatality-free. Carson, Douglas, Lyon and Pershing counties saw fewer deaths. Reno's death toll stayed even at 15.

Bad as the numbers are, they are not close to the all-time statewide high of 432 fatalities in 2006. And while the number of fatalities rose in 2012, injuries were down last year: 725 serious traffic injuries compared to 1,222 in 2011. That may be attributed to the increased use of seat belts.

Sgt. Adamson has been on the force for 18 years. We met him at a familiar place…police have been called out to McCarran and Virginia too many times. It has long been notorious…it was Reno's second most accident-prone intersection in 2012. The typical accident there? "Typically here it's going to be a red light violation, a right of way violation leading to a crash."

Recent changes are hoping to change that. After several years of work, the Meadowood interchange is open, hoping to lessen the traffic and accidents. Similar improvements were made at the long-time accident prone intersection of Kietzke and Moana. The RTC widened the lanes to handle the congestion. We'll see how it does this year.

Back at the McCarran-Virginia crash magnet, Sgt. Adamson still sees problems. Recently, police wrote over a hundred citations there in just one day. He thinks enforcement like that might do some good. "We'd like to think we're going to have a good shot of reducing the number of accidents and fatalities. But it really comes down to the driver. People need to be accountable for their actions."

-written by John Potter

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