A Tucson pedestrian was killed in a crash Friday night on the south side. Officials shut down a portion of East Drexel Road for several hours. Police determined that the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk at the time of the accident.

The crash occurred before 9 p.m. Aug. 25, forcing drivers to use alternate routes. Friday night’s fatality marks the 17th pedestrian fatality of the year in Tucson.

There have been 17 pedestrian deaths in the City of Tucson since the beginning of 2017. Tucson Police Department (TPD) figures show there were only seven pedestrian deaths at the same time last year.


Bicycle fatalities are down year over year, but pedestrian fatalities have more than doubled in 2017.

Fatalities Year-To-Date:

For 2016 – 36 For 2017 – 35
Pedestrian – 8 Pedestrian – 17
Bicycle – 4 Bicycle – 1
Motorcycle – 8 Motorcycle – 8

What’s to blame for the significant rise in Tucson pedestrian fatalities? Although Tucson enacted a texting and driving ordinance this year, many drivers may still be driving distracted. Distracted driving accounts for 1 in 4 crashes, nationwide. Pima County and Oro Valley also have texting and driving bans in place. The State of Arizona is one of only two states in the nation without a comprehensive statewide ban on texting and driving.

What intersection has the highest number of pedestrians? Not surprisingly, it’s a location on the University of Arizona campus; Park Avenue and University Boulevard had 3,229 pedestrians in 2015.

Tucson has a Pedestrian Advisory Committee that meets on a regular basis to discuss potential safety improvements in the city. The City of Tucson Pedestrian Advisory Committee was created four years ago after the Federal Highway Administration identified Tucson as having an above average number of pedestrian deaths.

Since last fall, members of the committee have been drafting a pedestrian safety action plan. They plan to present their recommendations to the city later this fall.

Let’s hope they have some ideas that will help save pedestrian lives, city-wide.