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Only 16 percent of Milwaukee drivers stop at crosswalks, says UWM study

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – How safe are Milwaukee’s streets? New numbers show city drivers aren’t yielding to pedestrians -- and it’s causing a record number of deadly accidents.

A new study by a team at UWM says that only 16 percent of Milwaukee drivers stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. 

"When we observed 364 opportunities for drivers to either yield or not yield to those pedestrians, drivers only yielded one in five times," said Robert Schneider, Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning. 

"The nationwide statistics on pedestrian safety were unfortunately in a negative trend," said Schneider. "We're a part of that trend."

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 2017 was the deadliest for Wisconsin pedestrians in 20 years, with 63 recorded deaths. 

Distracted drivers and walkers are part of the problem. It's something bus drivers like Karen Martinez-Casper notice on a daily basis. 

"Today it seems they are looking at their phones or listening to their headphones," said Martinez-Casper. 

"They're not really concentrating on what's around them," she said. 

More signage and more awareness are two big steps toward fixing the problem, said Schneider. 

"All of us are part of the community and its how we design the roadways, it's how we educate people."

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