CARSON, N.C. — New research has found that a lack of public health and safety policies that promote safer transportation has fueled the spike in the city’s homicides and traffic fatalities.
The study, published Thursday in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention, found that the city had 1,542 homicides in 2016, a 30 percent increase over 2015 and up from 1,124 homicides in 2015.
“The City of Charlotte, with the exception of certain traffic offenses, did not develop a robust and coherent safety and mobility strategy,” the study found.
Charlotte was ranked 28th out of 50 cities in the nation in its ranking of cities with the most traffic deaths.
The report found that about 60 percent of Charlotte’s homicides occurred on city streets.
A third of those deaths involved a person in the driver’s seat.
The most common driver of a vehicle involved was a white person.
The highest number of fatal crashes in 2016 involved a black person.
It also found that more than 80 percent of homicides were related to drugs.
A lack of a dedicated police force also contributed to the increase in homicides, according to the study.
It found that while police were dispatched to more than 1,300 traffic stops in the first 10 months of the year, only 3,000 were made in the entire year.
New Mayor Dwight Jones has promised to make the city a safer place to live.