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Pedestrian safety top priority during back to school season

Last year in San Francisco, there were 21 pedestrian fatalities. Just a few weeks ago on August 15, a 2-year-old child was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in San Francisco.

San Francisco, despite being a relatively safe city, does have an issue with pedestrian accidents. As the school year just started, drivers should be particularly focused on avoiding collisions with pedestrians.

According to the organization Walk SF, nearly half of San Francisco’s elementary school students – 42 percent – live within walking distance of their elementary school. But many of them do not actually walk to school.

“The top three concerns among parents who choose not to walk or bike with their children to school are related to traffic safety,” Nicole Schneider, Walk SF executive director, told The San Francisco Appeal. “The city plays a central role in encouraging families to walk and bike to school by making out streets safer in the first place.”

During the first week of school, there was increased traffic enforcement near San Francisco schools. There was an especially heightened police presence around schools in the North Beach, Tenderloin and Mission neighborhoods because certain schools in these areas are close to some of the most dangerous streets in San Francisco.

Traffic enforcement is one aspect of pedestrian safety, but ultimately it comes down to driver behavior. A driver who makes a mistake and injures or kills someone should have to bear responsibility. Holding negligent drivers accountable through a personal injury suit not only helps victims recover compensation; it also sends a message to drivers that they need to pay attention.

Source: The San Francisco Appeal, “Police Step Up Pedestrian Safety Enforcement As Kids Go Back to School,” Scott Morris, Aug. 18, 2014