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March 11, 2013

Pedestrian Safety, the Government, and You

Pedestrian Safety, the Government, and You

Are you fond of walking down the road or jogging by the roadside? Do you enjoy long walks around the neighborhood? Well, you could. But in the state of California, you just might have to be a little more cautious. It’s quite dangerous to be a pedestrian in California, according to recent studies by the Transportation for America Coalition.

If you don’t take extra precautions while walking the street, you might end up needing a Los Angeles injury attorney to represent you in case you get injured. That is because you will most likely end up figuring in an accident.

Basically, California is the 16th most dangerous state for pedestrians and 3rd in fatalities for pedestrians 65 and older in the report’s Pedestrian Danger Index. The report also made mention that non-whites and those over 65 years of age are the people most likely to fall victims in pedestrian accidents.

Additionally, that the report also revealed that Hispanics have a 97-percent higher chance of being run over by cars than non-Hispanic whites. In the same page, African-Americans have an 83-percent higher death rate than non-Hispanic whites in California.

Moreover, older pedestrians are twice as likely to be killed walking nationally. However, in California, the risk with the elderly is triple the national average.

Reasons for pedestrian accidents

There are many reasons that can contribute to this situation. Poor infrastructure is common in poorer ethnic neighborhoods. Nearly 40 percent of the fatalities happen in places where there are no crosswalks available for pedestrians to use. Also, older people are more prone to accidents as they have troubles crossing the roads in time for the light.

Between 2000 and 2009, 6,960 pedestrians have lost their lives after the accidents that are happening in the area. This by far is the largest share occurring in the Los Angeles County where 2,079 pedestrians died.

In the Bay Area, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, the city government, and concerned entities came up with measures to drastically improve pedestrian safety in the area. The Contra Costa Times came up with an interactive “Dangerous Intersections Map”, warning Bay Area walkers of trouble spots.

The City Government added 600 new curb ramps in various intersections and renovated some high-risk areas. Intersections near libraries, schools, parks, senior centers, and low-income housing projects have been significantly improved. They have also installed high visibility crosswalks painted red and yellow floral in the Chinatown district. These moves show the government’s desire to put the pedestrian’s safety first and foremost.

The Los Angeles Police District on the other hand, made operations to ensure the safety of pedestrians in the area. Also, some neighborhood associations in Los Angeles and the California Highway Patrol staged several pedestrian safety awareness campaigns. This active cooperation of the government and the citizenry can greatly help in achieving the dream of having streets that are safe for any pedestrian, white or black, old and young.

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