By on February 27, 2020

While the preliminary data from the National Safety Council shows 2019 being a safer year for cars operating in America, its report noted continued concerns regarding pedestrian safety. Additional data gleaned from the Governors Highway Safety Association’s (GHSA) assessment of pedestrian deaths by state shows that those traveling outside of cars aren’t enjoying the same safety enhancements as those sitting comfortably inside the cabin.

Its report estimates that 6,590 pedestrians were killed in 2019. The figure represents a 5-percent increase from 2018 and is the largest number of deaths the United States has seen since 1988. The situation, however, isn’t as simple as the big numbers suggest. Despite pedestrian fatalities gradually creeping up since 2009, only 30 states actually saw an increase in their total number of deaths last year. The GHSA now projects a pedestrian fatality rate of 2.0 per 100,000 people. While that’s also the highest rate the country has seen in years, it’s actually far lower than automobile fatalities — which currently averages around 11.0 per a population of 100,000. 

The biggest culprit, according to the GHSA, is poor infrastructure. A large majority of the accidents were said to take place at night in areas that lack posted crosswalks or proper illumination. In fact, nighttime pedestrian fatalities increased 67 percent through the past decade, compared to just 16 percent during the daytime. That said, the report also asks states to continue collaborating with local law enforcement to “address chronic driver violations that contribute to pedestrian crashes such as speeding, impaired driving and distracted driving.”

There seems to be little need for any action in states like Vermont — which only reported a singular pedestrian death last year — but other regions may be in need of help. Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia and Texas were faulted as the states contributing to the problem the most, accounting for 47 percent of all recorded incidents in 2019. However, this too needs to be unpacked for a clearer understanding.

Arizona and Georgia actually enjoyed some of the largest improvements in public safety, with both reporting double-digit declines in both the number and percent change in pedestrian fatalities vs 2018. The rest have higher populations than other states.

Meanwhile, New Mexico had the highest rate of pedestrian deaths per resident population overall — despite its total number of fatalities being fairly modest vs other states.

While the Governors Highway Safety Association recommends law enforcement crack down and towns improve their roadways, it also acknowledges that not a lot can be done to light long stretches of rural roads. For that, it said states should lean into public outreach and improving driver education (something we’re very much for). It also says that elevated levels of bicycle- and walking-related incidents could easily be the result of higher cell phone usage, noting that the reported number of smartphones in active use in the U.S. increased by over 400 percent between 2009 and 2018.

Distracted driving (or walking) is frequently listed as a secondary cause in safety reports, but it always feels like it should be given more prevalence. While we were glad to see the GHSA giving phone use some attention, we wish they’d have done the same for in-car infotainment. As screens grow larger and sprout more features and function, multimedia systems continue asking for more of our attention; it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that this also contributes to the degradation of safety in some meaningful way.

The complete report is loaded with additional safety recommendations and further breaks down data between states. If you’ve a mind for statistical analysis and care about the topic, it’s worth a look.

 

[Image: Room 76/Shutterstock]

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65 Comments on “U.S. Pedestrian Deaths Reach Highest Level in Decades...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    …Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia and Texas were faulted as the states contributing to the problem the most, accounting for 47 percent of all recorded incidents in 2019…

    Gee, California, Texas, and Florida are also the three most populous states, in that order, and Georgia is in 8th place. It’s like obvious day at camp stupid and fun with numbers. Those four states have a population of 100.6 million, almost 1/3 of the United States. Toss in Arizona and you’re up to 108 million.

    Of course everyone will jump on cell phones as the issue but distracted driving deaths due to mobile device usage, according to the most recent numbers by the NHTSA, is 1.4 people a day.

    Increasing congestion on American roads, the use of “traffic engineering” in some cities to, ehem, encourage less driving (Seattle looking at you), retina-searing LED and HID headlights that are poorly engineered yet somehow got DOT approval, and an aging population is combining into a perfect storm.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      APDTKSDI

      YES Agreed!

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      AZ can blame Waymo for way mo than half of the fatalities.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      I find that halogen bulbs, especially on high beam are the most blinding at night. HID are generally pretty easy on the eyes in my opinion. LEDS strain the eyes a bit more than halogen on low beam.

      The worst offender by a country mile are those Silver Star “I wish I had real HIDs but this is the best I could do lights”. If there ever were a light intended to blind all oncoming drivers, those would be the ones. They should be outlawed and people who install them on their cars should be flogged.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The glare isn’t “blinding”, except it drowns out my halogens. So I’m not hitting them with high beams to send a message, but to “see”.

        My headlights are perfectly adjusted to not blind and I see no reason to upgrade.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        Those aren’t SilverStars. They’re actual off-brand HID or LED kits installed in the car’s regular halogen housings, and yes, people who use them should be flogged.

        A Silverstar is just a regular filament bulb with a tinted envelope to make the beam “whiter” (that is, more blue and less yellow).

        There are some bulbs, like PIAA Super White IIRC, that actually have a different gas charge and filament, yielding light that is both brighter and whiter like HID or LED but still in the correct beam formation for halogen housings so as not to blind oncoming drivers — and they’re not cheap but still cheaper than a sh!tty HID conversion kit. The downside is much shorter bulb life, but unless you’re driving a chronic bulb-eater like a Volvo, or doing more driving in the dark than the average driver, that’s not really a big deal. Folks who truly need brighter lights, e.g. due to the manufacturer doing a crappy job with lens or reflector design or using insufficient wire gauge, can get those, aim their lights correctly, and get excellent results.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    I’d like to see data on any correlation between drivers who were at fault in pedestrian deaths vs the physical width of the driver’s posterior (i.e. people who don’t know what it’s like to walk anywhere).

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      There is no mention of it in the article, but I think they people putting this together should seriously look into the vehicle types that are involved in pedestrian deaths. I am willing to bet there is a serious correlation to the popularity of trucks and pedestrian deaths.

      • 0 avatar
        EGSE

        @thegamper – “look into the vehicle types that are involved in pedestrian deaths.”

        You are on to something….and someone has looked into it in a related way. Check the link below. It said what is glaringly obvious to anyone who drives in the D.C. area and dal20402 indicated it’s a problem in Seattle too. It’s worth a separate article.

        https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/world/expensive-car-drivers-study-scli-scn-intl/index.html

        I’ll step back as the flames spread.

        • 0 avatar
          thegamper

          Interesting study, but my rational was intended more to the likelihood of surviving being struck by a truck vs sedan, visibility as it relates to children, pedestrians walking near your massive vehicle from an unnecessarily high seating position, etc. Think of all the times you have seen oversized vehicles clip something around a tight turn for instance.

        • 0 avatar
          thegamper

          This is more what I am talking about:

          https://jalopnik.com/evil-boulder-menace-somehow-manages-to-take-out-a-fistf-1839642818

    • 0 avatar
      agent86

      You’re on to something. I bike to work. Most drivers are nice; some are oblivious; a few want to teach you a lesson. The latter camp always seems to be folks who clearly haven’t been on a bike in some years…

  • avatar
    cprescott

    Fools were likely walking with things stuck in their ears and oblivious to the real world. Culling the herd was a good thing. I pity the people whose cars were damaged by these zombies.

  • avatar
    EGSE

    4000 lb. car at 30 mph = 44 ft. per second.
    200 lb. (est) pedestrian at walking speed = ~4 ft. per second.
    Which one can stop in a shorter distance?

    Car with lights on at night.
    Pedestrian with no lighting.
    Which one is easier for the other to see?

    Too many pedestrians have an iron testicle resolve that they can march out into traffic with impunity. Even if “the law” says they can (and that law is flawed to put it mildly), the laws of physics says it will be their next-of-kin that debates who was really at fault when it doesn’t work as they posited.

    **Look both ways before you cross.** Our parents gave us good (life-preserving) advice. Ignore it at your peril.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      EGSE

      And i love the pedestrians that are wt proportional that dart out briskly and then cross the street at a glacial pace as if to say, ‘i dare yah!’ ‘I m going to make you come to a full stop.’

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        Come to a full stop then. Don’t cross the crosswalk until the pedestrian is to the other curb. It’s the law, it’s common courtesy, it’s good sense. Your method of transport can hurt them; their method of transport can’t hurt you.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      I remember being taught to look both ways, and then cross when it is safe to do so. I still do. Putting one’s delicate body on a deliberate collision course with a 2-3 ton vehicle and trusting the fallible human behind the wheel not hit you looks to me to be a death wish. I think of pedestrians as two legged deer. They will jump out in front of your vehicle for no apparent reason.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Agreed I’d rather be alive than in the right.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        “Come to a full stop then. Don’t cross the crosswalk until the pedestrian is to the other curb. It’s the law, it’s common courtesy, it’s good sense. ”

        _THIS_ ! a million times this ! .

        Goddamn it .

        -Nate

    • 0 avatar

      So you’ve been to NYC, eh ? Walk slower and glare.
      My biggest gripe with the whole VZ regimen is….

      The absolute lack of any responsibility on the part of the walker. I know VZ’s answer to this is that the walker owns the street, and the car is the intruder, but common sense ?

      When I was a kid, the Black and White TV would run a public service announcement (back when such things existed), with a cheery Jingle.

      Cross at the Green NOT in-between.

      NYC runs a lot of Vision Zero ads. Not ONE mentions looking both ways before you cross the street.

  • avatar
    EGSE

    “Vermont — which only reported a singular pedestrian death last year”

    must…….resist…….Bernie…….jokes

  • avatar
    dal20402

    After a few weeks with unusually few incidents, I nearly joined this statistic today while walking in a marked crosswalk with a walk light in downtown Seattle. Fool in a murdered-out Camry came flying down the street at 40 mph (speed limit 25, busy downtown area) and went right through the red light, coming within about 18 inches of me and an older woman who was crossing at the same time.

    After we had both recovered from the shock, she summed it up pithily: “I don’t want to get paid that much and it all just goes to my kids.”

    As someone who walks on these downtown streets every single day, I think these statistics reflect something. There are more close calls than there used to be. And I think there are several reasons, all of which contribute. One is certainly phones—but it’s not only texting, it’s also TNC drivers constantly staring at their apps for instructions. Another is that taller and quieter vehicles mask the sensation of speed. Cars at 40 are many times more deadly than cars at 20 or even 25, and it appears to me that there are more egregious/extreme speeders. And another is that there is far more anger out there. Everyone seems to be looking for a reason to get angry, and angry drivers have horrible situational awareness.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      Agreed on all counts, dal20402. I’ve lived all my life in “real” cities or streetcar suburbs, so I do a lot of walking and public transportation. But I’ve also usually had access to a car do a lot of intra-city driving on surface streets (non-commuting, thank God). Over the past 25 years, conduct has worsened both for drivers and for pedestrians. To the factors you list, I’ll add:
      – Related to the anger factor you mention is a general sense of “the rules don’t apply to me.” I can’t put a precise number on it, but I’d estimate that between 35% and 65% of Americans now have this attitude.
      – Ineffective policing. The concepts of traffic cop and of enforcing any traffic laws other than speeding basically no longer exist (except in the event of collisions, in which case they’re applied retroactively).

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Plenty of drivers just as distracted as pedestrians, and that is true. No defense for distracted driving. In your situation, it sounds like the driver wasn’t paying any attention. Too bad a cop didn’t see it.

      At the same time however, I bet their were oblivious zombie jaywalkers all around you. I can’t visit my dealer in Seattle without someone darting out in my way away from a crosswalk, usually from behind a van or box truck. Looking both ways before crossing the street was a concept I fully understood at age 3-4. The fact that so many pedestrians don’t understand this is unbelievable.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I disagree that the driver wasn’t paying attention. I see far too much of this behavior to think that. Drivers who aren’t paying attention tend to slam on their brakes once they realize they’re making a mistake, and this one didn’t. I think it is at least as likely that the driver just decided it wasn’t necessary to stop for that red light.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      While the increasing recklessness of drivers is certainly a significant factor so is the increasing inattention of pedestrians and cyclists. Both groups seem to be increasingly afflicted with the thought that laws, both traffic and physics, don’t apply to them.

      Driving through Seattle on a daily basis I see way too many pedestrians that just aren’t paying attention and not looking both ways before crossing the street. I also see way too many cyclists that don’t think traffic laws and controls like stop lights and signs apply to them.

      Seeing close calls is all too common and I’d say that the pedestrians and cyclists are just as likely to be at fault as the drivers.

  • avatar
    aquaticko

    Jesus. The number of people who claim it’s the pedestrian’s fault their being hit. I mean, there are undoubtedly people who are just being dumb, but….Lesson #1: if you have the power, the responsibility is always on you. If you’re in a car, you have the power (these days, rarely less than 150 horses’ worth); if you hit someone, it’s your fault.

    Y’all think you’re going to be driving yourselves around in perpetuity, that you’re never gonna die. Newsflash: we’re all going to die eventually, and whether your mind or your body start the process first, you’re not always going to be able to drive. Working in healthcare in the U.S., I see enough elderly people who fall in their single-family suburban homes and aren’t found for days…lucky to be alive. Or, wishing they were dead, isolated from the rest of the world until some aspect of self-neglect takes them, via ambulance, back into society.

    Start building cities and streets for everyone–whether or not they own a car–or prepare for a lonely, morbid path to your lonely, 4-bedroomed, 2,500 sq. ft., cul-de-sac’d graves.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      Jesus. The number of people who insist that a pedestrian can’t possibly have contributed to or be responsible for their own conflict with traffic.

      I was once walking in downtown Palo Alto, and saw a man assertively push a baby carriage out into the street in front of an oncoming car. When his (presumed) wife called for him to stop, he called back that it was a crosswalk. Which it was. It was also a signal controlled intersection, and he was crossing against the red. He’d just shoved his baby out onto the intersection in front of an approaching car which had the green light. (And I stress, green light. Not even yellow. Green.)

      • 0 avatar
        aquaticko

        To quote myself, ” I mean, there are undoubtedly people who are just being dumb…” Broach the topic of conversation, or don’t bother babbling.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve65

          “people who are just being dumb”.

          You then went on to go ahead and blame the driver for the outcome of the pedestrian’s bad judgement in all instances, irrespective of how spectacularly bad that judgement was And dismissed up front the possibility that a pedestrian could do something which a driver could not possibly react to in time. That case I witnessed had about a one second difference between the dad getting his ass righteously handed to him in public, and a baby splattered on the hood of a car.

          Don’t make universal assertions (“the responsibility is always on you”) and then try to backpedal out of them when they’re called out as the nonsense that they are.

          • 0 avatar
            aquaticko

            Because while it is a shared responsibility, the consequences of negligence are–a disproportionate amount of the time–going to be disproportionately large for the pedestrian. I’m not sure how many driver deaths are attributable to pedestrian stupidity, but I feel like it’s got to be a vanishingly small number. Even in the event that a pedestrian doesn’t die after being hit by a car, he/she’s still baring the bulk of the consequences–i.e., being hit by a car. Let me clarify: culpability may not always rest with the driver, but responsibiliity, ultimately, always will.

    • 0 avatar
      spookiness

      I live in a medium sized city next to a big one and I regularly use all manner of transport (drive, walk, bike, bus and train) depending on destination, parking situation, etc. I see it all, and not interested in assigning blame.

      I’m frequently on foot and I would say the biggest hazard to me is right turns on red without stopping, and people who don’t stop at the stop line. Intersections are tricky and you have to watch for cars coming and going from multiple directions and you can’t make assumptions about any cars obeying a light or a sign. We have a lot of 25mph blocks with 4 way stops. Less hazardous but still tricky. On those types of blocks, I tend to “jaywalk” if it is convenient, because I only have to be concerned with cars coming from 2 directions instead of 4.

      From a driver’s perspective, the places that scare me the most are suburban shopping center parking lots. A lot of people just drive way too fast through them, crossing lanes, etc., and there are lots of kids who can do random things. Something else, I have dark tinted windows, which I got via a waiver when I lived in another state. My current state has a stricter standard (even with a waiver) and for 3 years now I’ve been non-compliant and just counting on white privilege and not getting pulled over. I have had a few close encounters where I didn’t immediately see cars or peds approaching from the side. Had a close encounter at a stop sign with a dog walker on a rainy night last week. I need to finally get that tint changed, b/c it is hard to see at night, and would not get them tinted that dark again (on the front sides).

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        As one who was run over and nearly killed and crippled for life I can tell you definitively that being hit by a car sucks, really sucks and does so for the rest of your life .

        That being said, when I’m driving / riding I always try to stop for those afoot and continue to be appalled at the stupidity displayed by most pedestrians .

        As mentioned : 200 # Human Vs. 4,000# vehicle makes this a no brainer .

        -nate

  • avatar
    vvk

    Europe has instituted hood height restrictions to improve the chances of a pedestrian surviving a hit by a car. In the United States, the opposite is happening — the tremendous increase in hood height due to overwhelming prevalence of SUVs and pickups. The huge grills of newest pickup models are perfectly positioned to kill.

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      “Tremendous” “overwhelming” “The huge grills of newest pickup models are perfectly positioned to kill”

      Thats a bit dramatic.

      On the flip side, the low grills of cars and SUV’s are perfectly positioned to severely maim the legs, knees and hips.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        You survive a broken leg. You don’t survive either an engine block to the head or being pushed under a pickup truck.

        • 0 avatar
          Jon

          Im no expert on the mechanics of a truck vs pedestrian crash, but how does an engine block come into contact with the pedestrians head?!

          Again, a bit dramatic.

          Also, if surviving the “push” under a truck is difficult, then how much more difficult the push under a car? There is a lot less space under there. Again, im no expert in the mechanics of pedestrian collisions, but it seems like these two situations are equally bad for different reasons.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            Thought experiment: As a human, mentally locate your center of mass (probably not too far from a hypothetical belt buckle, vertically speaking).

            Now stand (mentally) in a crosswalk and hit yourself with a Lamborghini Huracan, dead center. If you intend to go underneath the vehicle, you better wear some extremely sticky shoes and reinforce your shins with something stronger than a tibia.

            Now get up, dust yourself off (still mentally) and stand back in the crosswalk. This time, it’s a 2021 Silverado coming for you. To have any hope of ending up on the hood, you would need a *lot* of your mass centered in your head.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            Reality vs. thought experiment: Since we’re typically over 50% water, you tend to ‘wrap around’ [vertically] the front of the vehicle that just hit you. And where your head lands matters.

            https://youtu.be/tNRHB75NiIc?t=80

          • 0 avatar
            vvk

            > Im no expert on the mechanics of a truck vs
            > pedestrian crash, but how does an engine block
            > come into contact with the pedestrians head?!

            Let me put it to you this way: the hood will bend in and pedestrian’s head will hit the engine block through the hood. New regulations are designed to increase the distance between the surface of the hood and the top of the engine. Some new cars even go as far as deploying special charges/struts to lift up the hood in case of a pedestrian strike. All this applies to low cars that hit at the knee level. When it comes to high and mighty SUVs and pickups, all bets are off. Pedestrian’s head strikes the radiator or the radiator support, which is not a survivable event at any speed above walking pace.

          • 0 avatar
            Jon

            “the hood will bend in and pedestrian’s head will hit the engine block through the hood”

            Thats some hollywood level stuff man… How many incidents have been documented specifically from a persons head impacting the hood so hard that the hood came into contact with the engine block, or cylinder head, or valve cover (or anything hard under the hood) causing blunt force trauma to the brain that resulted in death?

            My point is ya’ll are using rather far-fetched examples to illicit an emotional response in order to justify to yourselves and/or convince others to implement regulation for a problem that is purely based on event specific circumstances and PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

            Regulation doesn’t cure someone of lack of personal responsibility. Never has. Never will. It only takes away the possibility for someone to learn from their mistakes.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            This is not far-fetched, it’s empirical, and supported by an NTSB report. Conventional cars break the victim’s legs and throw the victim onto the hood and windshield, which is traumatic but often not fatal. SUVs and pickups usually knock the victim onto the ground and run the victim over. The point of impact is typically the legs for conventional cars; the lower torso for CUVs; the chest for BOF SUVs and stock pickups; and the head for lifted pickups.
            https://www.curbed.com/2018/9/27/17909270/pedestrian-deaths-suv-car-design

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            “Im no expert on the mechanics of a truck vs pedestrian crash, but how does an engine block come into contact with the pedestrians head?!”

            When the hood line is low, and their isn’t space between the top of the motor ant the hood.

            A CUV with a higher hoodline affords for a cushion of sorts. Your head dents the hood. When the intake manifold is right bey the hood, as is the case with lower hoodlines, the hood doesn’t absorb the energy…it dents to the top of the motor at which point your head absorbs it. Yes, this would be the cylinder head or valve cover technically I suppose, but you get the point.

            This is why hoodlines went up on everything from the mid 90’s on. But something something USA Crossovers suck something something.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            Some non-Hollywood-level data:

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1123098/

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            ToolGuy, that report entirely ignores anything with a bumper higher than a small CUV (including, in particular, stock newer pickup trucks and 4×4 SUVs). It doesn’t even go into the “under-the-car” scenario that is the most common one with those vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            dal, agreed, and it’s old – but was aimed primarily at Jon’s “engine block” concern.

            “Since the bonnet surface is made from sheet metal, it is a relatively compliant structure and does not, by itself, pose a major risk for severe head trauma. However, serious head injury can occur when the head hits a region of the bonnet with stiff underlying structures such as engine components.”

            And ‘Figure 3’ shows that 80% of serious injuries (at the time) involved the head, as the pedestrian’s head played crack-the-whip into some hard part of the vehicle structure.

            No argument with your more-current SUV/pickup comments.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      I think it’s the opposite, actually: what’s banned is the plunging pointy beaks of a 1990s sport coupe (or a second-generation Chevy Volt for that matter). Notice how the front of even the Honda Accord — traditionally the one sedan with the plunging sporty beak — has risen and become more bluff. Everything is sort of turning into a 1982 Chevy Caprice Classic in the front, even as the rest of the car is a super-aero teardrop with zero rear headroom.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    “The biggest culprit, according to the GHSA, is poor infrastructure.”

    Of course, the idiots who insist on walking into traffic lanes with out pausing to evaluate on coming traffic has _NOTHING_ to do with this .

    The next time a god damn kid walks on my lawn I SWEAR I’ll run him over with my power mower ! .

    (As soon as I buy one) .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Waiting for you-know-whom to blame it on “the leftists” =8-) .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    The girl in that picture has some mad curb hopping skills. (As in, I can’t figure how her front bicycle wheel didn’t torque over and send her to the pavement.)

    [And how long until those sidewalk pavers succumb to frost heave? Man, I need to get out more.]

  • avatar
    Vanillasludge

    Good news: We’re finally walking more!
    Bad news: We’re walking under the front bumper!

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    I’ve flown out to a few large cities on business and have driven around these places, much to my chagrin, between the regional office and my hotel or some other destination. Without fail, people jaywalk, walk right into traffic as if they were invincible or had a death wish, or simply neglected to pay attention as they were too bothered to look up from their phone. A few times I was sitting behind, in front of or opposite a police car and whoever was inside didn’t even bother nipping this in the bud.

    I don’t notice this problem too much at home (Utah Valley) as my job’s “home base” is right off I-15, as well as most anywhere else I may need to go, plus I live in a semi-rural area, right off a two-lane 15 miles from the freeway with no provisions for pedestrians or bikes. 95% of my driving is on or right off of I-15, which I love. I couldn’t put up with inner-city drivers or pedestrians day in and day out.

  • avatar
    Jeff Semenak

    My problem as a pedestrian is the right turn on red. People driving up to the red light, look to their left for traffic. When their light turns green, they turn without noticing the pedestrian crossing with the walk signal. You may say wait for the car. Many lights barely allow enough time to cross the street as it is. Now what? Stand there for an hour to cross?

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      The root of this problem is twofold: one is the low standards we have for licensing and the other is lax enforcement. Have a traffic cop “safety blitz” where they specifically look for this specific driver error, in a city for about a week, and we might gradually see behavioral change. The offenders don’t have to be fined or get points on their license (officer discretion), a lot of them would learn from it if they’re given verbal warnings or written warnings.

      The right turn on red into a pedestrian who is lawfully in the crosswalk (or the right turn on green into a pedestrian) is driver laziness and ignorance (stupidity, really, but ignorance-based lack of skill), very much like cars that pull out into the path of a motorcycle. But *most people don’t want to be the cause of an injury accident.* I think most drivers out there feel shaken up from the shock of getting pulled over by a cop, and if you combine that shock with a bit of education about such a specific bad habit, then I think we could see real benefits.

      As the ones who resist the educational side of a traffic stop, heck, fine them. Hit ’em in the pocket book and let the rest of us benefit from them paying the “stupidity tax” (that is what a traffic fine is, right?).

      The neat thing about a warning is that it can exist in the big cop computer for a period of time, say a year, and if you attract further attention from the local constabulary during that time then the officer at that time may use that information in his/her decision to exercise less discretion about your second offense.

      Alas, traffic safety in this country mostly amounts to “hurr durr speed kills aggressive driving tailgating,” which is a very simplistic and childish view. And the majority of enforcement is a cop with a radar gun, which is frankly pretty lazy.

      Just my opinions ;)

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Semenak

        I agree partly, unfortunately given that I have had people blow their horn at me when they realize I am legally in front of their turning SUV/Truck makes me wonder; do they want to see my face before impact? Warnings? Oh heck no. Maybe give the exact same sentence for killing a pedestrian sober/drunk doesn’t matter. Oh, you mean SOME are accidents? Only the ones with sober drivers? 85% of drivers think they are above average drivers…I’m sure the Driver will be shaken up and sobbing on the side of the road. I prefer to live than be an educational moment.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          The ones who blow their horn at you are the ones who have to pay the stupidity tax and get points on their license.

          At least that’s how it’ll be when I’m king.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            JimC2 for traffic commissioner ! .

            This is the plain truth although no one wants to look into the mirror and admit it .

            Interestingly enough the mowed down pedestrians in marked crosswalks with BIG FLASHING LIGHTS is such a problem in Glendale, Ca. that the GPD routinely does stings where officers attempt to cross the street, some in uniform, some not, often times wearing Santa or Easter Bunny suits and guess what ? the _same_ socioeconomic group nearly kills all of them every time, they don’t have the cultural awareness to learn from the ticket$ .

            The mayor of this fine (sarc.) burg is a member of this same group and when caught in criminal acts had the temerity to loudly denounce the authorities for having the nerve to prosecute him .

            Driving is a _privilege_ not a right, you’d be wise to hone your skills .

            -Nate

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