KC police urging drivers, pedestrians to be aware on metro highway seeing numerous auto-ped deaths

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- KC police officers have seen more than their fair share of auto-pedestrian crashes, and 71 Highway is a frequent destination for those types of crashes, Sgt. Bill Mahoney said.

"I think we're all working on trying to come up with a solution, but I don't think there is just one," Mahoney said.

Fourteen people have been killed in 41 auto-pedestrian crashes on 71 Highway since 2009, he said. The most recent incident occurred on Jan. 26 when a woman was struck by a speeding car.

"The vast majority of these collisions that we're seeing -- the pedestrian has violated the right of way," Mahoney said. "Seems to be a lot of people cutting across. Actually if you look in the grass median in several areas, you can actually see pathways that have been worn down by people coming from the businesses on Prospect over into the residential neighborhoods."

Mahoney is urging drivers and pedestrians to be more aware of the decisions they're making on the roadway, especially in the evening hours.

"They are all avoidable. On one side or the other, they are all avoidable," he said. "But it's also incumbent on the motorists out there to be aware. We want them to be aware of what's happening out here on the highway, that there's a high degree of accessibility for pedestrians to get into the median in certain stretches of the highway."

The hope is, with knowledge, there will not be a 15th deadly crash on 71 Highway any time soon.

"The vast majority of these, the pedestrian is making a bad choice," Mahoney said. "What we want to do is just make these motorists aware of what`s happening in these stretches as they come through there, and it`s something just to look for and add that much more safety to your driving."

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