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Pedestrian safety initiative to take effect in San Francisco

Pedestrian safety is a two-way street; both literally and in terms of wordplay. While pedestrians need to obey street signs, observe good judgment and cross the street, motor vehicle drivers need to travel at safe speeds at all times (but especially around crosswalks or near pedestrians) and they need to be on the lookout for pedestrians. Drivers who fail to do these things are negligent, and could be held accountable not just in criminal court, but in civil court by their victim

San Francisco is on the verge of launching a new pedestrian safety initiative that holds motor vehicles accountable for their end of the relationship.

Supported by a federal grant of $140,000, the city will bolster its police presence at vulnerable pedestrian locations — such as near schools, senior centers and high-risk areas — via motorcycle officers. The goal of the project is to deter (or catch) speeding drivers, giving pedestrians a safer environment in which to walk. The program will launch very soon, as the estimated timetable is “early 2013.”

The mere presence of motorcycle officers will likely influence drivers to reduce their speed; but the officers will be more focused on enforcing signage laws (such as running red lights, violating basic rules of the road and infringing on a pedestrian’s right of way). Tickets will cost an offending motorist $155.

While this move is being hailed as a big step for public safety, accidents are still going to happen. How the victims and their loved ones respond in the wake of such an accident is crucial, and if any reckless or negligent activity took place during the accident, they could consider legal action.

Source: SF Examiner, “Beefed up traffic enforcement coming to vulnerable areas of San Francisco,” Will Reisman, Dec. 27, 2012

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