California Bill Aimed at Keeping Pedestrians Safer

Saturday, April 06, 2013

A new bill that was recently introduced in the California legislature is aimed at improving roadway divider safety on California Streets by removing panhandlers who typically walk these areas, asking motorists for money.

The bill, SB 674 would make a change to the California Vehicle Code, and specifically affects panhandlers who work at several local intersections. These people walk these areas asking people for money. It's fairly common to find these people standing at these intersections with a handwritten sign, asking for money, and hoping to make a few dollars.

However, according to law enforcement officials, this is a dangerous practice because very often, these panhandlers cross the street illegally or when there is a stop light. Los Angeles car accident lawyers know that all of these are dangerous practices, and increase the risk of an accident for panhandlers.

According to the promoters of the bill, the point is not to remove panhandlers from the dividers, but to keep them safe. In many cases, these panhandlers try to attract motorists by doing tricks, and this distracts motorists and exposes both motorists as well as pedestrian panhandlers to the risk of accidents. A motorist, who is busy watching a panhandler do his stuff, is likely to miss an important accident cue, seriously risking injuries to himself as well as to other people on the road.

However, the bill is likely to see quite a bit of a fight from civil rights activists as well as homeless groups. The panhandlers insist that they are not distracting or delaying traffic. If the bill is approved, they would have to move their activities to the sidewalk. Panhandlers as a group are likely to strongly oppose the bill, because according to them, it is impossible to make any money on the sidewalk.

NHTSA Reports Spike in Pedestrian Accident Fatalities

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Traffic accident fatalities around the country have been down over the past couple of years, but pedestrians need to continue exercising caution while walking. The new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that pedestrian accident fatalities in 2010 increased by about 4% percent, compared to 2009.

A total of 4,280 pedestrians were killed in accidents in 2010. That was an increase from 4,109 in 2009. Those are some of the most recent statistics available, until the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration releases statistics for 2011.

The agency has no explanation for those increasing accident fatality numbers, which are very worrying to Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyers. In California, there were a total of 2,715 pedestrian accident fatalities in 2010. In fact, in that year, pedestrian accident fatalities accounted for more than 22% of the total number of fatalities.

However, the federal agency insists that pedestrians are much safer on the roads now than they were about a decade back. Pedestrian fatality numbers in 2010 were about approximately 13% lower than they were back in 2001. However, what Los Angeles car accident attorneys find very worrying is that the numbers are up even though the total number of traffic accident deaths is down.

For instance, in 2001, there were a total of 42,196 traffic accident fatalities and out of those, about 4900 were pedestrians. In 2010 however, the traffic accident fatality numbers had dropped to 32,885, and out of those, about 4,280 were pedestrians.

A shaky economy and fluctuating gas prices are just two of the reasons why more people have been choosing to walk to work. While more numbers of pedestrians automatically translates into lowered traffic congestion, it will be hard to persuade more people to walk if it isn’t safe for them to do so.

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