San Francisco traffic fatalities continue to increase at an alarming rate. Fourteen people have died in 2019 in the first five months, including eight pedestrians, a skateboarder and a cyclist. At this rate, the City could have as many as 37 deaths by the end of December. In 2016, 50 people died in San Jose. Los Angeles suffers more than 200 fatalities each year.
Speed is the number one factor in serious and fatal collisions. Police officers have limited ability to stop speeding vehicles. Two years ago the San Francisco mayor, a San Francisco Assemblyman and the San Jose Mayor supported a legislative bill to install automated speeding cameras throughout the two cities. Criticism from law enforcement unions concerned about losing jobs and automobile clubs concerns about the invasion of privacy killed the bill.
In 2014, the City adopted Vision Zero to track collisions and prioritize safety measures. This was an attempt to severely limit the serious accidents and fatalities. Thus far it is not working. It is apparent to several concerned citizens that sharp interventions may be the solution to end the slaughter such as charging to drive on busy streets, tightening regulation of Uber and Lyft vehicles, adding officers to cite motorists who speed or text while driving and banning cars in certain areas. Automated speeding cameras may become acceptable if the severe injuries and deaths continue to increase. The growing number of cars driven by impatient or distracted drivers is a big part of the problem. Also, safety improvements on the streets need to be installed.
The more people who are aware of the problem the better chance there is to reduce accidents. Pedestrians, cyclists and vehicle drivers can help lower fatalities and serious injuries by becoming aware of the reasons why injuries and deaths occur on city streets.
If you or a loved one have suffered injury or death, the lawyers at the Van Blois law firm with offices in Oakland, Walnut Creek and Stockton, California are available to help persons who are injured and to help families in cases of wrongful deaths caused by pedestrian and cycling accidents.