UDOT pushes education of Zero Fatalities after 2 fatal auto-pedestrian crashes

Posted at 4:59 PM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 11:53:59-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Auto-pedestrian accidents continue to be a concern for transportation officials after two people were killed in Layton Monday morning.

There have been seven fatal car crashes 12 days into the New Year. Two of those accidents involved a pedestrian.

“You want to turn back the hands of the clock,” said UDOT Spokesman John Gleason.  “You want to go back in time and stop this kind of thing from happening.”

On Monday, 42-year-old Adam Brinhall was crossing the street in his wheelchair near 2080 N. Main Street when he was hit and killed by a car.

Later that morning, Layton High School students BaiLee DiBernardo and friend Eric Baarz were also struck while walking in a crosswalk.

BaiLee died and Eric is in serious condition.

“It is heartbreaking,” Gleason said.  “It's tragic; the lives that have been changed forever.”

UDOT officials say visibility can be low at this time of year.

“There are fewer daylight hours in the winter months and it’s harder to see especially when kids are walking to school. When people are driving home at night, we all need to be aware and pay attention to each other,” Gleason said.

UDOT released statistics on fatal crashes for the first two weeks of 2015 and 2014.

The numbers indicate there was a slight increase in auto pedestrian accidents from last year to this year.

In 2015, there were four fatal crashes. One involved a pedestrian.

In 2014, there were six fatal crashes and two involved pedestrians.

UDOT officials remind motorists pedestrians are no match against a 4,000-pound car.

“Education and talking about safety, that's important too, but at the end of the day it is just talking,” Gleason said.  “We need everyone to really buy into Zero Fatalities and make that commitment to yourselves and your family to put safety first.”

The Zero Fatalities campaign talks about distracted driving as well as distracted walking.

Distract walking includes talking or texting while walking.

Officials remind motorists and pedestrians to stay alert whether it’s in a parking lot or crossing a street.