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State sees increase in pedestrian deaths

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Transportation officials say Wisconsin is mirroring a national trend after increased pedestrian fatalities last year.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the state saw almost 60 pedestrian deaths in 2017, compared with about 50 in 2016.

David Pabst is the director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s bureau of safety. He says there’s been an effort in recent years to reduce distracted driving, but that distracted pedestrians are also a problem. Pabst says running across a poorly lit street in the evening is also risky.

The Transportation Department plans have task forces emphasizing pedestrian safety this summer.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported last week that pedestrian deaths nationwide have increased by 46 percent since 2009. Nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2016.

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