Spike in Vehicle vs Pedestrian Accidents in CA

Source: Katarzyna Białasiewicz/123RF

The Ventura County, CA Sheriff’s Office reports that pedestrian fatalities are rising in California as more people use non-motorized means of transportation.

On Monday, Aug 31st, a pedestrian was killed while crossing the road in Thousand Oaks.

The Thousand Oaks Police Department will step up pedestrian safety enforcement operations on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, with focused enforcement on collision causing factors involving motorists and pedestrians.

Routine traffic patrols will focus efforts in trouble spots while special targeted patrols will also be deployed to crack down on drivers and pedestrians who violate traffic laws meant to protect all roadway users.

The department has mapped out locations over the past several years where pedestrian-involved collisions have occurred along with the violations that led to those crashes. Officers will be looking for traffic offenses made by drivers and pedestrians alike that can lead to life-changing injuries.

Special attention will be directed toward drivers speeding, driving distracted, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or any other dangerous violation.

Additionally, enforcement will be taken for observed violations when pedestrians cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or intersections.

In 2016, California witnessed 867 pedestrian deaths accounting for nearly 24 percent of all roadway fatalities, much higher than the national average of 15 percent.

A national study reveals that pedestrians and drivers do not obey laws and signals consistently and many often use cell phones, text, and listen to music while walking or driving.

Only 60 percent of pedestrians said they expected drivers to stop when they were in crosswalks, even though they have the right-of-way.

The following safety tips can save lives and stop this tragedy, witnessed far too often:

Drivers can:

  • Look out for pedestrians, especially in hard-to-see conditions such as at night or in bad weather;
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk where pedestrians are likely to be;
  • Stop at the crosswalk stop line to give drivers in other lanes an opportunity to see and yield to the pedestrians too; and
  • Be cautious when backing up – pedestrians, especially young children, can move across your path.

Pedestrians can:

  • Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road, cross at crosswalks or intersections, and obey signs and signals;
  • Walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible if there is no sidewalk;
  • Pay attention to the traffic moving around you. This is not the time to be texting or talking on a cell phone;
  • Make eye contact with drivers as they approach. Never assume a driver sees you;
  • Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials (or use a flashlight) at night; and
  • Look left-right-left before crossing a street.

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