Just around 6:30 pm on Wed., Sept 11, 2013 a lady walking a small dog crossing the street at the corner of Melinda and Santa Margarita Parkway (Rancho Santa Margarita) was hit by a taxi.
The taxi was making a right hand turn onto Santa Margarita Parkway.
As you may know out of frustration, I recently wrote an article titled "Look Both Ways." I don't know the details of this accident, but what I do know is a lady was hurt. Company 31, firemen and an ambulance were at the scene to safely put the lady in an ambulance. That is a busy intersection with numerous accidents.
Could this accident have been avoided? When I crossed the street back to the Mission Viejo side, I had the "go hand," but I always look left at the closest driver. Tonight the driver put up his hand, motioned he saw me and indicated you can go. I just don't trust people with my life. Besides does it matter who is right or wrong, but that an accident could be prevented.
Everyone is in a big hurry and they are distracted especially in the morning going to work, at lunchtime (the worst time) and then going home.
In the last few months, I have had to slam on my brakes too many times for pedestrians that walk right in the middle of the street, not a crosswalk or at a light.
I am eerily reminded that one of my friends hit and unfortunately killed the owner of the best bar-b-que house in our Southern town at a street crossing. It was common knowledge that he drank heavily and would walk late at night. He darted in front of her car. She wasn't cited or charged for the accident. She had the green light and did everything she could do to stop.
It destroyed her life. She was engaged to get married to her high school sweetheart. Instead the guilt and depression drove her to
be put in a mental institution.
Didn't you learn to look both ways before you crossed the streetbefore you went to elementary
school! However, when I discuss
this with friends and cite the penal codes, people still insist they have the
right in California
to walk anywhere, anytime they want.
One of my friends is concerned his wife is going to get hit by a car because she doesn't look and says no matter what in California she has the right of way. They won't hit me.
the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration in 2010--- 4,280 deaths were
pedestrians. From 2000 to 2009, more
than 47,000 pedestrians were killed. As the NHSTA puts it, “On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours
and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes.”
The Law- "Right-of-Way at Crosswalks”
21950. (a) The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
(b) This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
(c) The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.
(d) Subdivision (b) does not relieve a driver of a vehicle from the duty of exercising due care for the safety of any pedestrian within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection."
Here’s what I found in the Whittier Daily News written by Al Perez of the California Highway Patrol. In it, he cites a Sgt. Billy Tyler of the Temecula Police Department who says that "When a pedestrian has the green light to walk, they have the right-of-way. However, if the vehicle has the green light, the pedestrian must yield to the vehicle and must obey the pedestrian signal."
Please slow down and look both ways before you get in the street. No matter what the law says, why would you walk in front of a 3,000 pound vehicle moving at 40 or 50 miles an hour? No one runs that fast.