SF Streets Blog editor Aaron Bialick recently penned a blog post urging the San Francisco Police Department to stop blaming victims for pedestrian accidents.
“According to recent tweets and press statements from SF police, the reason San Franciscans are getting maimed and killed on the streets at an alarming rate has nothing to do with the people driving multi-ton motor vehicles into them,” Bialick wrote. “No, it’s because people aren’t walking in fear of drivers.”
The SF Streets Blog and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition had a rough year with the city’s police and fire departments.
Officials from both departments repeatedly blamed pedestrians and cyclists for their own injuries despite evidence that street design flaws and driver error are the leading causes of fatal crashes.
Disagreements between safety advocates and city officials reached a dramatic head last fall when 24-year-old Amelie Le Moullac was killed by a commercial truck driver. A sloppy SFPD investigation failed to uncover surveillance footage of the crash which was easily obtained by cycling safety advocates.
That same week, there was evidence that the San Francisco Fire Department tried to delete an amendment in the fire code that would pave the way for wider sidewalks and other safety enhancements to city streets. Most recently, SFFD Chief Johanna Hayes-White drew sharp criticism for claiming that the majority of pedestrian deaths are caused by inattentive pedestrians.
Hopefully the coming year will mark a shift in attitudes for city officials and bring an increased focus on pedestrian and cyclist safety.
The Dolan Law Firm handles pedestrian and bike accident cases in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area. If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, call 415-636-8160.