Pedestrian fatality rates in the Jacksonville area rank among the highest in the state along with the Miami area and the Bevard County area. On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes in the United States. Fourteen percent of all traffic fatalities and an estimated 3 percent of those injured in traffic crashes were pedestrians." (Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrians, April 2014) Unfortunately, pedestrians were one of the few groups of road users to experience an increase in fatalities in the United States according to the most recent data released. Our seniors and our children are the two groups most at risk. Pedestrians ages 65 and older accounted for 19% of all pedestrian deaths and an estimated 10% of all pedestrians injured according to the latest data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Older adults move slower when crossing busy highways, their vision is often impaired making it more difficult for them to judge traffic. Tragically 20 percent of the children under the age of 15 killed in traffic accidents were killed in pedestrian accidents. Children ages 10-15 showed the highest rate of pedestrian injuries in the report. Children move fast and are often excited and impulsive not fully aware of the dangers posed by traffic. The opportunity for parents, caregivers and loved ones to encourage safety among seniors and children can begin with brochures available through the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. http://www.nhtsa.gov/nhtsa/everyoneisapedestrian/index.html
A tragic pedestrian accident has claimed the life of 74 year old George Maxell Point on Saturday. George Maxwell was busy planning a garage sale placing signs along County Road 218 in Middleburg as he stepped onto the highway he was struck by a Toyota Camry. The accident is still under investigation. Neighbors have sited speed as an issue on that highway. The speed limit is 45 but many drivers reportedly exceed the speed limit on County Road 218 in Middleburg. Sadly, pedestrian accidents in the Jacksonville area continue to escalate.
A bicycle accident has claimed the life of an outstanding 17 year old young man on Palm Valley Road. Christian Meier was struck by a Toyota Corolla as he crossed the road. Christian died from injuries sustained in the accident at Baptist Beaches Hospital. Christian Meier was a decorated member of the Navy Junior ROTC program at Nease High School. He had been selected to attend the NJROTC Leadership Academy. Sadly, his dreams of becoming a Navy pilot will never be realized. Christian's family, friends and classmates will no doubt miss this exceptional teenager.