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San Jose Pedestrian, Bicyclist Fatalities Reach 15-Year High

SAN JOSE (KCBS ) — 2013 is coming to a close with a nearly two-decade high in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities in city of San Jose.

So far this year, the city has had 26 traffic-related fatalities—the highest since 1997.

San Jose Pedestrian And Bicyclist Fatalities Highest Since 1997

Pedestrians killed by cars range from a three-year-old boy in a stroller stuck in a cross walk to a woman in her 20s crushed by an SUV and a garage.

While there have been calls for greater police traffic enforcement, authorities say that the rise in pedestrian deaths isn't easily prevented or explained.

Sgt. Matt Christian, the head of the San Jose Police Department's traffic investigations unit, recently told the San Jose Mercury News that most of deaths share a common factor—People crossing high traffic roadways at night and outside a crosswalk.

Police also said that there have been more incidents of distracted driving and distracted walking as many people are paying more attention to the their smartphones than then their personal safety.

"Phones are not going away. Gadgets are not going away but we need to start focusing. One split-second of not paying attention, and it can change your life forever," Christian told the Mercury.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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