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Tonight, our clocks 'fall back' an hour - but earlier sunsets means more pedestrian deaths

LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — Daylight Saving Time is almost over. Tonight, we fall back.

While we'll gain an extra hour of sleep, the days will get darker, earlier with the time change.

A new safety campaign, called ‘Dusk 2 Dawn,’ is underway to encourage driver and pedestrian safety on our local roads.

As we all prepare to “fall back” this weekend, those behind a local traffic safety organization are warning of a much more serious matter than gaining an extra hour of sleep.

With the time change, local drivers should prepare for one less hour of daylight, directly impacting the busy evening commute.

The valley has already passed the total number of pedestrian deaths in 2019, and the more-dangerous conditions mean the deaths count is likely to keep on rising.

“We had 50 people lose their lives on our streets in 2019, so we have nine weeks left in the year -- nine of the deadliest weeks," said Erin Breen, the director of UNLV'S Vulnerable Road Users project.

She, along with other community leaders, are coming together to expand the "Dusk to Dawn" pedestrian awareness campaign.

"You won't have enough time if you're not paying 100% attention to react, hit your breaks and stop," Breen said.

Starting this week, customers on foot at more than 70 local businesses can receive a reflective slap band, making themselves more visible.

The bands have been placed inside businesses along eight corridors that have been found to have the most critical and deadly pedestrian crashes between 2016 and '18.

“If there's not two streetlights between you and the approaching vehicle, never assume that driver is going to see you with enough time to stop for you," said Breen.

Breen reports 80 percent of pedestrian deaths happen after dark, so now she and the rest of the team hope preparation and education get each and every person on our local streets back home safely, especially from “Dusk 2 Dawn”.

"In Metro's jurisdiction so far this year, 41 percent of their fatalities have been pedestrians,” said Breen. About two percent of road users are pedestrians. That's how unfair our roads are. If you have two percent of the population dying 41 percent of the time, there is something wrong with that equation.”