San Diego County's 4.9 deaths per every 100,000 people was more than twice the national average according to a new survey. NBC 7's Greg Bledsoe reports.
A new report states San Diego is one of the most dangerous places in the country for pedestrians.
San Diego's 4.9 deaths per every 100,000 people was more than twice the national average, according to the 2011 numbers used by the Department of Transportation.
But the Department of Transportation points out the problem is nationwide.
Today the department announced pedestrian deaths are up over the past few years, and pointed to a list of 22 cities now being targeted for improvement, including San Diego.
"This year is definitely a spiked increase,” said San Diego Police Sgt. Pete Townsend says there have been 11 pedestrian deaths in San Diego this year – with nine in the first three months alone.
Three weeks ago a 66-year-old woman was killed trying to cross Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, where there is no crosswalk and signs warning pedestrians.
"A lot of the times a pedestrian things they have the right of way,” said Townsend. “That’s not the case. It's based on what's going on with the traffic signals and the walk signals."
This is why San Diego police are targeting areas like downtown and Hillcrest where pedestrian and vehicle traffic are higher.
"The whole motorcycle unit did a special detail where we targeted pedestrians whether it was J-walking or red hand violations,” Townsend said.
But in the end he says it will take more than issuing tickets.
“We gotta remember we got cell phones people texting, not only the pedestrians but the drivers are distracted,” Townsend said.
For now, police say they will be out there continuing to enforce the pedestrian laws. They tell us that mostly they're issuing warnings right now, but once the summer season is over and the tourists are gone, they will start to issue more citations.