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Thursday, August 9, 2012 - 12:00pm

Georgia's Pedestrian Deaths Rise

Georgia roads are becoming safer for drivers.

But more pedestrians than ever are being struck and killed.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this week released numbers showing, the state's pedestrian death rate is 25% higher than the national average.

168 people died while walking along Georgia's roads in 2010.

That accounts for 13% of all Georgia traffic fatalities and is 13% higher than 10-years ago.

Driver deaths in the same time were down by about a quarter.

Sally Flocks of the Georgia group Pedestrians Educating Drivers says, walkers get killed most in the suburbs, where transportation planning focuses on cars.

"They're willing to invest billions of dollars into wider faster roads and that is exactly what ensures the roads will be deadly for people on foot," Flocks says.

She says Georgia's suburban infrastructure is to blame.

"It's out in the suburbs where you do have higher density housing apartments along these roads but what you don't have is a good network of streets where there's a lot of small roads."

Georgia Department of Transportation officials are drafting a so-called "Complete Streets" policy that would require pedestrian and bike considerations in new road-building.

A GDOT spokesman says, the policy could be approved in September.

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