For Immediate Release: May 1, 2017
Two People Killed in Two Days,
Walking in San Francisco
San Francisco, CA – In the last two days, two people were killed while walking on two of San Francisco’s most dangerous streets. While not all the information from the crash investigations is available, the San Francisco Police Department has reported that a 77-year-old woman was killed on Saturday night while crossing the street near Lake Merced. Early this morning, a second person was killed at the Market and Octavia Street freeway on-ramp.
This year, three of the five people who have been killed while walking in San Francisco were seniors. These statistics reflect the greater risk seniors face on the city’s streets. While seniors make up only 14% of the city’s population, they are victims in 60% of fatal traffic crashes.
Both of the recent crashes happened on high-injury corridors––the 12% of San Francisco streets where 70% of crashes happen—making these tragic events both predictable and preventable.
In addition to high-risk locations, another known high-risk factor in traffic violence is speed. If a person is hit by a car going 20 miles per hour, that person has a 90% chance of survival. However, if that same person is hit by a car going 40 miles per hour, their chance of surviving plummets to only 20%. For seniors, like the woman who lost her life near Lake Merced on Saturday, their chance of surviving a crash involving a car traveling at 40 mph is barely 8%!
We can improve the odds for everyone. The California State legislature is considering AB 342, the Safe Speeds Act of 2017, to enable San Francisco to pilot the use of safety cameras (also known as automated speed enforcement), a tool that has been proven to reduce speeding and save lives.
AB 342, authored by Assemblymember David Chiu, is supported by a broad cross-section of groups: the San Francisco Police Department, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Senior and Disability Action, San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and many other community groups.
Last week, AB 342 was converted to a two-year bill. Each day the bill is delayed, the more people are at risk on our streets. Walk SF and our Vision Zero Coalition partners will continue to push Sacramento lawmakers for the passage of this life-saving legislation to stop these preventable tragedies and ensure the City can meet its Vision Zero goal to end all severe and fatal traffic crashes by 2024.