Even in communities like San Francisco where WalkSF and its vision 2020 campaign seek to make streets and sidewalks safer for pedestrians, people on foot remain vulnerable when crossing the street, even when they are using the crosswalk and following traffic laws. When an inattentive or out-of-control motorist is behind the wheel, a pedestrian may have as little as one to two seconds to get to safety.
And sometimes, even able-bodied pedestrians are unable to avoid serious injury. If you are living with a physical disability, even that slim chance might not be available.
Such a tragedy was recently reported by KGO-TV, when a woman was struck and killed in San Francisco shortly after the paratransit van she had just been riding in hit her as she was crossing the street.
Police are investigating the tragic incident.
Ironically, the victim, who used a walker, had ridden in the van to attend a meeting of a community group advocating for traffic safety for San Francisco's disabled and senior residents. After getting out of the van, she began crossing the street in front of the van which accelerated suddenly and struck her. It dragged her 25 feet before stopping.
The auto litigation team at San Francisco's Walkup law firm is involved in the investigation and prosecution of this claim. For more than 50 years, lawyers with the Walkup firm have been involved in the protection of San Francisco citizens from errant and wayward drivers.
Paratransit operators like other transportation operators are held to the highest standard of care - and even so we see that, inattention, failure to be alert and order to be properly trained our reoccurring problems.