Groups to honor victims of road traffic crashes in Tennessee

generic pedestrian sign
Posted at 6:35 AM, Nov 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-22 07:18:51-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Chuck Isbell knows what it feels like to no longer have his child.

His son, 13-year-old Nate, died last Halloween after being hit by a speeding driver on a residential street in Rutherford County. Isbell said he’s been working for more than a year to lower the speed limit in residential areas to 25 within the county and to also have a stop sign installed where his son was killed.

"People want to throw out the term accident, but they’re not accidents. They’re preventable deaths," said Isbell. "No parent should ever have to bury a child, no parent."

During a ceremony Sunday, he and others will remember those who died during World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims at the pedestrian bridge at 4:30 p.m.

Like Isbell, two groups in Nashville are calling on Mayor John Cooper to lower speed limits and fix seven streets in particular that have caused the majority of pedestrian deaths.

Families for Safe Streets Nashville and Walk Bike Nashville leaders said they believe these deaths could have been prevented in light of recent rash of pedestrian deaths.

In 2020, seven roads accounted for more than 50% of all pedestrian deaths, the groups tabulated. Those roads are Dickerson Pike, Rosa Parks Blvd, Charlotte Pike, Old Hickory Blvd, Gallatin/Main Street, Murfreesboro Road and Buena Vista Pike.

Infrastructure upgrades like changes to signal timing, adding pedestrian islands, upgrading crosswalks, adding lighting, have all been proven to dramatically reduce crashes, according to the organizations.