San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Pedestrian "imprudence" high on highway death list

Speeding is the number one cause of roadway deaths in the first seven months of this year, with a toll of 55 between January and July.

Drunk driving, meanwhile, claimed another 35 lives, according to the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT).

But what appears to most concern MOPT is pedestrian “imprudence,” which the ministry says was the cause of 33 deaths in the same time period, just three fewer than last year.

“Investigations verify that the majority of deaths from being hit by a car could have been avoided by using pedestrian bridges, crossing at street corners and respecting the traffic light, or just walking facing traffic and with bright or reflective clothing when there are no sidewalks or at night,” MOPT said in a statement released this week.

The statement did not mention how many deaths took place on roads that lacked sidewalks, or where there were no nearby pedestrian bridges.

According to the ministry, the second leading cause of pedestrian deaths was “bicycle imprudence,” which caused 12 deaths, and the six people died because of “mechanical failure,” although they did not clarify the term.

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