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Traffic Safety Forum examines ways to protect drivers, prevent deadly wrecks |

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Traffic Safety Forum examines ways to protect drivers, prevent deadly wrecks

Late spring, early summer is a time when more people are killed on the roads. AAA calls it the 100 deadliest days of summer. On Thursday, valley transportation authorities held a Traffic Safety Forum at UNLV to discuss ways to keep La Vegas valley drivers and roads safe.

It turns out in the valley, the amount of traffic-related fatalities is alarming, and the numbers continue to rise. Officials say there are more than 300 traffic fatalities a year.

For traffic safety officials the data points aren’t just numbers: They represent countless families and friends that are losing loved ones from careless drivers.

The Clark County Safety Forum was attended by law enforcement, engineers, EMS staff, and educators. All were asking ‘what is being done’ and ‘what more can be done’ to improve road safety.

Presenters noted while there are problematic intersections such as Sahara Avenue and Decatur, many crashes are preventable. Just by wearing a seatbelt, slowing down, putting down the phone, or not getting behind the wheel if you’re impaired, are all examples of preventable measures drivers can take to keep roads safe.

Traffic experts also highlighted the success they’ve had with the ‘DUI Strike Team.’ The team has arrested a total of 700 arrests since October.

“It’s inspiring to see everybody come together,” said Michael Naft, Clark County Commissioner. “Often times we focus so much internally on whose jurisdictions is who, and whose side of the street belongs to who, or which side of the county, belongs to the city, belongs to the state. We are here under one roof because it doesn’t matter to the general problem for everybody.

Another big topic at the forum Thursday was related to the traffic fatalities and the upward trend of pedestrians being hit and killed in wrecks. As for preventing, these types of accidents, both pedestrians and drivers need to pay better attention.

County Commissioner Naft says it’s that unity that can prevent fatalities and help curb dangerous behaviors.