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San Francisco launches effort to reduce pedestrian accidents

We live in one of the most scenic cities in America, but it is also one of the most dangerous.

Last year, 21 people were killed in San Francisco pedestrian accidents. The unacceptably high number has jolted City Hall into action.

Yesterday, Mayor Ed Lee and Police Chief Greg Suhr announced a three-pronged effort to reduce fatal pedestrian accidents. The campaign will feature street improvements, traffic enforcement and education of motorists and people on foot.

The police chief said officers will begin handing out tickets to drivers and pedestrians as part of the Walk First campaign.

The chief noted that, “year to date, we’ve had more people killed on the streets of San Francisco in vehicle collisions than we have by homicide.”

His force is already busy handing out more tickets in an effort to get drivers to slow down and pay more attention to their surroundings. Traffic tickets are up 50 percent so far this year.

Mayor Ed Lee says the safety efforts don’t stop there. He said pedestrians have to understand their role, too: “We need to promote people looking both ways before they cross the street,” Lee said.

The mayor said the city will spend $17 million to redesign intersections and streets in order to improve safety for pedestrians.

In addition to the pedestrian fatalities last year, there have already been four more added to the toll this year.

On top of those terrible tragedies are the people who are injured as they cross streets and are struck by distracted drivers, drunk drivers or others. For many, they must deal with enormous medical expenses, grueling physical therapy and long periods of recuperation. They should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the legal options available for compensation for the damages they have suffered.

Source: KPIX, “SF Launches Pedestrian Safety Campaign To Combat Surge of Fatal Crashes,” Barbara Taylor, March 6, 2014