San Francisco Supervisor Proposes No Right Turn On Red Law to Improve Road Safety
The Problem with San Francisco’s Dangerous Streets
San Francisco has seen a disturbing increase in fatal car crashes, with 16 lives already taken this year. While only 12% of the city’s roads pose risks, they account for over 68% of the serious accidents. Dean Preston, San Francisco Supervisor, is taking steps to lower these numbers and decrease traffic-related fatalities. To achieve this, he’s proposing a citywide rule to prevent cars from making right turns at red lights.
The No Turn on Red Policy
The No Turn on Red (NTOR) policy is implemented in parts of the Tenderloin district and has successfully reduced accidents. Preston’s proposal is inspired by this policy, and he draws attention to the fact that 20% of injury accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists occur during right turns on red. While some places like New York City disallow right turns on red, San Francisco may be next to make the rule universal.
Preston’s Plan for Safer Streets
Preston stresses the importance of using available resources wisely and promptly to reduce severe traffic injuries and deaths. Data from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) shows that the NTOR rule works in the Tenderloin, where 92% of drivers follow it, near-misses have dropped by 80%, and 70% fewer vehicles block crosswalks during a red light. These figures reinforce Preston’s proposal’s significance and the potential of spreading it all over the city to make the streets safer.
Community Advocacy for Traffic Safety and Change
Residents’ desire for change underscores the gravity of the issue. In the 1970s, right turns on red were allowed in the U.S. during the oil crunch to save fuel. Seattle and Washington, D.C. have limits on the rule, while New York City disallows it entirely. In San Francisco, nearly 5,000 letters have been sent to city officials, each requesting a citywide rule to prevent turning right on red lights.
The death of a youngster in a crosswalk earlier this year has driven residents to demand change even more emphatically. This tragedy highlights the importance of making the streets safer, and the will of the people cannot be overlooked. San Francisco has a Vision Zero in place to achieve zero traffic deaths by 2024. San Francisco’s track record suggests that, despite its lofty goals, road safety is still a pressing issue that needs to be aggressively addressed.
The Hazards of Careless Driving on California’s Roadways
Across California, reckless driving contributes to a significant and multi-dimensional danger to all road users, including drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. The state’s diverse terrain and congested highways are challenging to navigate, and irresponsible driving behaviors, such as speeding, distracted driving, and ignoring traffic signals, amplify the danger of car accidents. California is home to many different environments, both urban and rural. These environments pose unique challenges that require focused and cautious driving.
In urban settings, the combination of pedestrians, cyclists, and traffic necessitates heightened awareness. While in rural and hilly areas, winding roads and unexpected obstacles warrant careful navigation. One must exercise particular caution during nighttime driving since this poses additional challenges, and error-related accidents are more likely to lead to severe injuries.
Steps to Take Following an Accident with a Careless Driver
When it comes to dealing with the aftermath of an accident caused by a negligent driver, one must always prioritize safeguarding personal health. The first step should be to call emergency services to ensure that medical and law enforcement assistance is en-route. Even if injuries do not appear severe, it’s crucial to seek professional medical evaluation because some symptoms may not be immediately apparent. Take photographs of the scene and gather contact information from witnesses to provide a comprehensive account of the incident.
It’s essential to contact an injury attorney to guide you through subsequent legal processes. Navigating through insurance claims and potential litigation can be intricate, and professional advice can ensure that you’re adequately compensated for medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and any associated trauma or suffering from the incident. Check out this video (insert link) to learn more about how legal assistance can help you alleviate some of the difficulties.
The Call for Safer Streets Goes Beyond San Francisco
Sacramento streets have been witnessing a worrisome uptick in car accident fatalities, with over three dozen already reported this year. This alarming trend has ignited calls for measures to slow down vehicular traffic. Oakland’s East recently saw an increase in fatal crashes that resulted in five tragic deaths. The affected local communities express heightened anxiety about their safety, prompting Oakland road safety advocates to demand urgent intervention.
To make California’s streets safer for all, two state agencies, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California Office of Traffic Safety (Cal OTS), are working together to introduce a new public awareness campaign.
Discouraging dangerous driving can be challenging, but it is necessary. The roads must be safe for all types of traffic, and careless driving is a preventable risk. We hope that policy changes and increasing awareness will make our roads safer and more comfortable for everyone, whether you’re a pedestrian, a cyclist, or behind the wheel of a car.
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