The number of people killed in traffic accidents in the first six months of this year in Anne Arundel County was 41 percent higher than in the first six months of last year, with the number of pedestrian deaths going up sharply, county police said yesterday.
Twenty-four people were killed between Jan. 1 and July 5, compared with 17 during the same period in 1994. Eight pedestrians have been killed this year; three had been were killed by this time last year.
The number of multiple-vehicle accidents increased to eight from five. Single-vehicle accidents stayed the same at five, as did the number of bicycle fatalities -- one per period.
Three of the single-vehicle accidents occurred when motorcycle riders ran off the road into fixed objects. All of the riders died, despite wearing helmets, police said. Four people killed in other vehicles had seat belts on when they crashed.
Alcohol figured in eight of 1995's fatalities, the same number as for 1994. Three pedestrians, one bicyclist and four drivers used alcohol.
Four of the eight multiple-vehicle accidents happened when at least one of the drivers involved failed to yield the right of way. The other four occurred when at least one of the drivers failed to stay in his lane, police said. Six fatalities in the pedestrian/bicycle category were caused by pedestrian error. Three others are under review, police said.
There have been 22 crashes this year, two of which involved multiple deaths, police said.