FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 11, 2020
CONTACT: Jodie Medeiros, Executive Director, Walk SF, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-596-1580 (cell); Marta Lindsey, Communications Director, Walk SF, email@example.com, 617-833.7654 (cell)
Pedestrian hit and killed by reckless driver at Geary and Gough; eighth pedestrian death this year
San Francisco, Calif. – Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the man who was hit and killed by the driver of a vehicle when crossing the street at Geary Boulevard and Gough Street this morning, August 11, 2020.
“A life was senselessly cut short today,” said Jodie Medeiros, executive director of Walk San Francisco. “We hold the loved ones of the victim close in our hearts, and demand an end to traffic violence on our streets.”
Walk San Francisco and members of the San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets stand ready to support the victim’s family and friends however possible.
Details about the victim are still unknown, but the SFPD stated the driver was arrested for vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving, and failing to stop at a red light.
“San Francisco is underutilizing a proven solution: red light cameras. SFMTA must quickly increase the number of red light cameras at dangerous intersections,” said Medeiros. “More red light cameras will save lives. They work day and night, and send a clear message that aggressive driving has no place here.”
San Francisco currently has red light cameras at only 13 intersections. These red light cameras are the main enforcement mechanism for red light running in the city. For example, in June 2020 cameras at the 13 intersections captured 856 red light violations versus under 100 citations citywide by SFPD. Crashes that result from red light running are likely to be severe or fatal because they are “right-angle” crashes (i.e. the victim is broadsided).
“The City is falling short on its promise to create and enforce streets that keep people safe,” said Medeiros. “We have lost five pedestrians in traffic crashes in just the past two months. The City must act now to put a stop to this horrific trend.” Continued Medeiros, “The solutions exist to prevent these devastating traffic crashes.”
Geary Boulevard and Gough Street are designated “high-injury.” High-injury streets are the 13% of streets where 75% of traffic crashes happen in San Francisco. Walk SF is urging SFMTA to bring daylighting, left turn calming, and no-turn-on-red to the entire high-injury network this year.
Lower speed limits and speed safety cameras are also desperately needed to prevent and reduce the severity of crashes. Speed is the number one factor in severe and fatal crashes in San Francisco. If a person is hit by a vehicle traveling at 20MPH, they have a 90% chance of surviving. At 40MPH, the survival rate drops to only 20%.
“The City committed to Vision Zero: ending severe and fatal crashes by 2024,” said Medeiros. “Cities around the world are showing that Vision Zero is possible. But San Francisco isn’t acting as aggressively as it must to really move the needle in saving lives from traffic crashes.”
“What kind of city can San Francisco claim to be when we aren’t safe simply crossing the street?” said Medeiros.
You can read Walk SF’s letter to SFMTA Director Jeffrey Tumlin. An average of 30 people are killed and nearly 600 people severely injured in traffic crashes each year in San Francisco.
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Walk San Francisco (‘Walk SF’) advocates for safe streets for everyone who walks, which is everyone. Since our founding in 1998, Walk SF has been leading the way to make San Francisco a pedestrian-first city where people of every age and ability can walk safely. Learn more at walksf.org.
San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets is made up of survivors and families whose loved ones have been killed or injured in traffic crashes. Learn more at walksf.org/familiesforsafestreets.