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Meadowood Mall shoe display sheds light on rising pedestrian deaths in Nevada

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Like most malls, there are hundreds of shoes on display at Meadowood; but four pairs of shoes displayed in the center of the shopping area are serving as a reminder to stay safe on Nevada roads.

At a time of year when we celebrate graduations and the beginning of summer, local officers are reminding people it's also the deadliest time of year on local roadways.

Dan Gordon with the Nevada Highway Patrol said, "Wwe just entered the 100 deadliest days of the year when it comes to fatalities both for driving and for pedestrians."

As the weather warms up, more people are hitting the road and heading outdoors. More people on local streets means a higher risk of fatal crashes.

Law enforcement officials say pedestrian fatalities are reaching epidemic levels in the Silver State. That's one of the reasons behind a new display inside Meadowood Mall this month.

Nevada Department of Public Safety representative Amy Davey said, "Last year, there were 80 pedestrians killed on our roads. Thirty-nine already this year."

So far in 2017, there has been a 25-percent increase in pedestrian deaths compared to this time last year. Since 2011, more than 400 pedestrians have died on Nevada roads.

Officials across the state came up with the ePEDemic campaign to give a face to those numbers. Davey said, "We're trying to raise awareness for everyone to watch out for one another."

They installed displays in Reno and Las Vegas malls, showcasing shoes that belonged to Nevadans who lost their lives in pedestrian crashes.

Below each pair is a story about the person who died:

"And if you read it, it will touch the heart," Dan Gordon said. "These are people. They're not just pictures, they're actually people. They were a loved one. They were somebody's wife or husband, son or daughter."

Missing from the display is a most recent pedestrian crash that killed a 15-year-old girl just last Friday night in Reno. Gordon said, "It happened just a couple of days ago so the wounds are fresh and the healing hasn't even started yet."

Organizers said the mall exhibit helps remind people that pedestrian crashes affect entire communities and that the responsibility falls on all of us to prevent them.

Gordon said, "You just gotta make sure as a driver, as a pedestrian, you're trying to do everything right and you limit the amount of chances you have of some sort of tragic event happening."

If you want to learn more about the ePEDemic campaign, you can see the display at Meadowood Mall through July 9 or visit ePEDemic.org.

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