The recent death of an elderly pedestrian in San Francisco is causing sorrow for all involved, but it is also causing a big conversation in the Bay Area about pedestrian safety and bicycle riding in our congested city. Last month, a San Bruno man was walking across the intersection at Castro and Market and was struck by a bicycle. He was hospitalized and passed away from his injuries.
The bicyclist, whose lawyer says he is devastated by the accident, has said online that he was not able to stop as the light changed and the crosswalk began to fill with pedestrians … instead he plowed through the intersection and hit the elderly man. There are now accounts that video surveillance from the area might contradict his version of the accident.
According to a recent piece in the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco officials have determined to “hold errant cyclists accountable and to redouble efforts to get everyone – pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers – to travel more safely.” The new plan is reported to include allowing bicyclists who violate traffic safety laws to pay lower traffic fines if they agree to take safety classes instead.
Many have said this is a welcome enforcement effort since over the past decade thousands of pedestrians have been injured and hundreds have lost their lives from just walking across city streets. The new Safe Streets Program is going to target the most dangerous locations and intersections in the city. The effort is not only going to include enforcement, but will also be targeted at education as well. This effort is apparently modeled after the program in Marin County in which bicyclists who are ticketed can attend traffic school and pay a lower fine.
The San Francisco Superior Court will need to approve this proposal which does not include violations in which property damage or personal injury occur.
In the recent tragedy, authorities are still evaluating the evidence in reviewing whether to file charges against the cyclist.
When accidents occur in our lives, we need the support of experts who can help with the legal and medical issues involved. The San Francisco injury law firm of Hersh & Hersh has helped families coping with serious accidents and wrongful death for over four decades. If you have been involved in an accident or have sustained injuries, please contact our law offices for a free consultation with one of our lawyers to discuss your legal rights and to get guidance with your medical needs.