Bucking a nationwide trend of rising deaths, the number of pedestrians killed on Chicago’s streets dropped by 40 percent from Jan. 1 to May 31 as compared with the same period a year ago, according to data compiled by the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Between Jan. 1, 2018 and May 31, 2018, 20 pedestrians were killed in Chicago. During the same period in 2019, only 12 people on foot were killed in crashes, according to data presented Thursday to the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council.

Chicago Department of Transportation Assistant Commissioner Sean Wiedel called that very encouraging news.

Safety experts have blamed the rising number of pedestrian deaths on an increase in the number of vehicles on the roads, higher speed limits and a growing number of drivers and those on foot distracted by cell phones and other electronic devices.

One bicyclist has been killed in Chicago since the beginning of the year, on track with 2018’s one death, according to the data.

In addition, the number of motorists killed in crashes in between Jan. 1, 2019 and May 31, 2019 dropped by 25 percent, according to the data.

The city’s Vision Zero campaign, which is designed to eliminate death and serious injuries from traffic crashes by 2026, is working to reduce traffic crashes on the West Side, where most of the fatalities have occurred during the past several years.