DeKalb County

Agencies partnering to reverse trend in pedestrian fatalities across Georgia

CHAMBLEE, Ga. — More people were hit and killed by cars and other vehicles in 2022 than any other year in the last four decades.

Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach learned about the local effort to reverse this trend.

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Partners with Chamblee Police, Georgia Department of Transportation, AAA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety all came together because more pedestrians are being killed than ever before.

“Pedestrians are our most vulnerable road users and we’re asking every driver to help us protect our pedestrians,” said Allen Poole of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.


Around 7,500 pedestrians were killed across the country last year, 340 of them were in Georgia.

That’s the most pedestrian deaths in the U.S. in the last 40 years and a nearly 60% rise over the last decade, compared to only a 25% increase in deaths involving vehicle crashes.

“Jenkins was truly a one-of-a-kind and I miss him every day,” said Rockdale County Dep. Billy Burrell.

Burrell spoke about the death last year of his best friend and mentor, Dep. Walter Jenkins, was killed while directing traffic on a highway at night.

Data shows that 83% of all pedestrian deaths in the state happened at night, during low-light hours.

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The message to all drivers is to slow down, be alert, and eliminate distractions.

“All drivers, especially young and inexperienced drivers, have to pay attention and slow down,” Burrell said.

During this month, they also want to remind drivers to be extra vigilant around school zones and public transportation, where people may be crossing the street as well as obey ‘Georgia’s Move Over’ law.

The good news, at least so far, we’re on a pace to lower the number of pedestrian deaths in 2023 over last year.