Two dozen pedestrians killed on Memphis streets this year, MPD tells council

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis City Council committee is taking a hard look at pedestrian safety after seeing some startling numbers — so far this year 24 pedestrians have died on roadways compared to 38 last year.

City Council members, along with the Memphis Police Department, agree that something must be done.

"There are a lot of areas where we see individuals crossing the street on cell phones, intoxicated and their mind is elsewhere. It's a huge educational piece that we have to push out. Signs do help. Crosswalks help," MPD Deputy Director Mike Ryall said.

Police say some of the problem areas they deal with today are parts of Lamar. The well-traveled road has a high traffic volume and many walkers.

"We definitely need to get the number down in a big way."

In their presentation during Tuesday's council meeting, officers said one of the areas where they don't have as many problems is downtown.

That's partially because cars can't travel as fast in that area.

MPD says a big part of making a change is education. They say drivers should be taught safety skills and enforcement, including distracted driving enforcement.

Council members say they're looking forward to the future.

"I hope MPD will come back and really identify what would be those hot spot areas and really come up with strategies," council member Martavius Jones said.

The Memphis Police Department tells us they're looking to have a dialogue with anyone who can help them to move the needle.