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Pedestrian Deaths Up in Illinois

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Walking or running might be good for your health, but it’s getting more and more dangerous.

The number of pedestrians killed across the state is increasing.

“Now that the weather is getting nicer I’m coming out to the park more,” says Springfield resident,Jason Speaks, who likes to get a run in everyday.  But, he said running through some streets can get scary.
 
Speaks said he’s never been hit by a car but he’s seen some close calls.
 
“It’s pretty prevalent during the day I don’t get out of here during the evenings but I’ve seen it, at the times I’ve been out here, I just see it pretty frequently, said Speaks. “Not so much of the park, but if I go out running in streets and neighborhoods, there are always close encounters like that.”
 
People killed while walking or running rose by 18% in 2015. Last year there were 150 pedestrian deaths compared to 127 in 2014. 
 
“I’m not surprised at the increase. In fact, I think the percentage would even be higher. I’ve seen a lot of incidents where there’s people not paying attention while driving,” said Speaks.
 
“I am surprised. I do a lot of walking and I have over the years. Currently, I’m in the park. Of course there’s a speed limit,” said Steve Buecker, of Springfield.
 
Nationwide, more than 4,800 pedestrians killed in 2014. That was the highest number since 2005. In 2010, Illinois passed a law requiring drivers to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. But not everyone is stopping for the changes.
 
“Sometimes, if it sounds like they’re coming up too fast, approaching me from the back, I’ll get a little bit leery,” said Buecker.
 
Data from the Illinois Department of Transportation shows that more than 85% of people killed in Illinois happened in 23 counties, included in those of Sangamon, Champaign and Macon.
 
Crashes involving pedestrians account for close to 2% of the overall crashes statewide. 
 
In 2014, more than 4,000 people were hurt. Nineteen died along state highways and 66 on city streets.

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