Rising numbers of pedestrian deaths and injuries need everyone’s attention

Jim Cameron is founder of the Commuter Action Group and advocates for Connecticut rail riders. He writes a weekly column called “Talking Transportation” for CT Mirror and other publications in the state. Read past columns by clicking on the photo. Contact Jim at [email protected].

She was just walking her dog.  Seconds later she became the latest statistic in a growing list of pedestrians killed or maimed this year in Connecticut by motor vehicles.

Donna Joy Berry, age 63, wasn’t on the road or even the sidewalk as she walked her dog in the Glenville neighborhood of Greenwich.  She was on a grassy area away from the road.  Seconds later a Lexus traveling north on Weaver Street crossed the yellow line, jumped the curb and struck her.  Days later she died.  Neither the dog, nor the driver (who remained on the scene), was injured.

In another case, a Greenwich man may now face manslaughter charges after striking and killing two restaurant workers walking in Stamford.  He was driving a 2022 Mercedes at 86 mph when the December accident happened at 2 a.m.  Arrested in Florida and extradited to Connecticut, 24-year-old Michael Talbot could get 20 years in jail.

Last year 75 pedestrians in this state died when struck by vehicles, a 50% increase from just five years ago. But why the sudden increase in such fatalities?

One reason is that people are walking more.  But more importantly, both drivers and pedestrians are increasingly distracted, listening to their phones or texting.  And motorists are driving faster.


5 responses to “Rising numbers of pedestrian deaths and injuries need everyone’s attention”

  1. Jalna Jaeger

    I walk frequently on East ave, Newtown Tpk and the Post road. Drivers are often speeding! Traffic enforcement, speed traps mght help! A crazy idea. Where are the police???

  2. David Osler

    The fact that people do 80+ miles an hour in residential zones is very likely the root cause of this problem. I don’t really care if you’re doing 80+ on 95 I do mind if you’re doing 50 in a 25. Yes most people go 15 over but don’t really push more than that and honestly police if you do you see somebody doing 90 in a residential zone that’s likely reckless driving. It’s kind of like when you see the state legislator leaving the bar

  3. Johnny cardamone

    OK the guy was going 86 miles an hour in Stamford at 2 AM and killed two restaurant workers probably Mexican? And he gets 20 years in prison.!? what if he shot them with a gun? The cat is also a metal weapon!
    Distracted, driving & smart phones are the death of all of us, and that includes the people walking in the road with their backs to the traffic and their ear phone buds on!

  4. Audrey Cozzarin

    Timely article. Thank you, Nancy for reminding us of this challenge to get folks to pay better attention to what’s around us as we drive. Pedestrians are no match for cars, especially in this country where cars are so huge. In European countries, they have designed the cars so height and weight are reduced, with shaping to allow peds and cyclists to roll away from the car if hit, instead of crushed underneath.

    My questions and appeal: We make choices, don’t we? Are we heavily influenced, participating in our own manipulation, to covet and desire (need?) such huge vehicles? Do we “need” cell phones which distract us to the point where we can’t function well in public? There are choices we obviously need to consider and make in view of deaths and injuries on the rise on our roads. We can decide how we wish to live our lives.

    My husband and I made a choice to step away from cell phones. After 10 years, we still have no use, desire, or “need” for them. It is possible, believe it or not, to live without a cell phone!

    In August 2019, I held a “Driving Mindfully” seminar at Norwalk Library. It is time to hold another event to remind us to get centered before we turn the key. To be ‘all there’ as we drive, not tethered to our devices, chatting away, our minds distracted to the point where errors such as death occurs.

  5. Audrey Cozzarin

    Today, in addition to this article in NoN about pedestrian deaths on the rise, this video came my way.

    I share it with you, my beloved community of Norwalk:

    Let’s see what can be!

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