WAMU 88.5 : News

Pedestrian Deaths In D.C. And Maryland Rose In 2013, Says Report

A new report on pedestrian fatalities is being released today — and the news isn't good.

Total pedestrian fatalities in the D.C. region increased during the first six months of 2013, compared to the same period the year prior, according to a nationwide study released today by the Governor's Highway Safety Association.

To break it down by jurisdiction, the number of pedestrians killed by cars rose from three to seven in D.C. and from 45 to 58 in Maryland. In Virginia, pedestrian deaths dropped from 41 to 37.

The report doesn't explicitly assign blame for the increasing number of deaths, but it does hypothesize that distracted driving and an increase in walking play a role. It also finds that pedestrians over the age of 70 are more likely to be victims, and that a greater proportion of fatalities occur at night. In many cases, the report says, alcohol plays a role.

Allan Williams, the report's author and former chief scientist at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, says that the findings are a wake up call for legislators and planners.

"A lot of organizations now are encouraging people to walk for health and environmental reasons, and I think more people are doing that. But we ought to figure out how to protect these people when they are out there intermingling with cars and other motor vehicles," he says.

He says one way to protect pedestrians is to lower speed limits, and he credits D.C.'s network of speed and red light cameras for slowing drivers down. One recent D.C. report found that speed cameras helped slow drivers and prevent accidents.

Nationally, for the first time since 2009, the number of pedestrians killed on U.S. roadways is declining, down nearly nine percent when compared with the first six months of 2012.

NPR

Peruvians Love Their Chicha Street Art. The Government ... Not So Much

Walk down a street in Peru and you'll likely see an example of the glow-in-the-dark posters and murals. Lots of people love them. But the upper crust — and the government — aren't impressed.
NPR

Tea-Infused Sweets: Chocolate + Jasmine Tea Is A Match Made In Heaven

Smoky and floral brews can provide a kick of flavor to desserts, especially when blended with chocolate. Pastry chef Naomi Gallego shows us a few tricks for surprising the palate with tea.
WAMU 88.5

America's First Ladies

They walk a tricky line: closest adviser to the President of the United States and hostess in chief. A new book examines the evolution of the role of first lady of the United States.

WAMU 88.5

E-Cigarettes and Vaping

Last week, the D.C. Council voted to designate e-cigarettes and "similar vapor products containing nicotine" as tobacco products. That means that their sales tax will jump from the regular 5.75% sales tax to the 70% tax that's tacked onto sales of products like cigarettes and cigars. We explore what this means for the evolving public health debate surrounding e-cigarettes.

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