Police have made an arrest in a fatal bicycle accident that occurred in Pleasanton recently. The motorist, an 18-year-old has been arrested, and has been charged with several counts related to felony vehicular manslaughter and felony reckless driving.
The victim killed in the accident was a 58-year-old bicyclist, who was riding with her husband. The bicyclists were struck by a car driven by the teen driver. The victim’s husband did not suffer serious injuries.
The Pleasanton community is no stranger to bicycle accidents, and this city is believed to be one of the more dangerous cities in California for bicyclists. According to official data from the California Office of Traffic Safety, in 2010, the city of Pleasanton ranked at number 12 on a 103 city-listing of bicycle accidents, comparing cities with similar populations. Pleasanton roads are also highly dangerous for bicyclist below the age of 15. In 2010, the city ranked at number eight in the number of bicycle accidents involving persons of this age.
Even so, the Pleasanton community has been shocked by this accident, especially because it seems that the driver in this case was in the habit of using social media to boast about his high speeds. Just a few months before the fatal accident the driver boasted on his Twitter account of driving at speeds of 140 mph, and jokingly invited his 191 followers to join him for a “death ride.” Soon after this fatal accident, the driver’s Twitter account was closed, but not before he had posted one last gem-“drive fast like young.”
It is quite possible that speeding was a factor in this accident, although there are any number of other factors like distracted driving and driving under the influence that endanger bicyclists in California.
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency planners recently released their new plan for a redesign of busy Polk Street to accommodate more numbers of pedestrians and bicyclists, without impacting current parking arrangements.
The plans were developed after months of consultations with bicyclists, as well as merchants. Bicyclists’ main concerns have been the lack of safe lanes to ride bicycles, while local businesses have been concerned that the reduced parking arrangements, as a result of increased bicycling facilities, will drive away customers.
The new proposals released by San Francisco are meant to be a sort of compromise, and preserves much of the parking that currently exists on Polk Street with a significant addition of space for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Not surprisingly, the plan has been criticized by both bicyclists and merchants. Bicyclists claim that the plan does not include a full continuous separated bicycle lane and bicycle track on both sides of Polk Street. Merchants also have criticized the plan because they do not want the city to take away any parking spaces at all.
Safety on Polk Street has been a top priority for San Francisco City Officials, because this area has been the site of a number of serious and fatal pedestrian and bicycle accidents recently. Over the past five years alone, at least 53 pedestrians and 69 bicyclists have been injured in accidents on Polk Street, most of these accidents occur at intersections.
The pedestrian safety as part of the new proposal is likely to meet with more acceptances. These plans include high visibility crosswalks, more numbers of red zones constructed near intersections to improve visibility, as well as better signal timing.
Thanks to a substantial federal grant, both amateurs as well as experienced bicyclists in Los Angeles County will be able to take part in free bicycling lessons to help reduce the risk of accidents this summer.
The grant has been awarded to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and is via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The $203,000 federal grant will pay for approximately 120 classes, that will be conducted free of charge during weekends. The classes will be conducted in both English and Spanish. The classes will be conducted in several cities including in Los Angeles, El Monte, Santa Monica, Rowland Heights and the City of Commerce.
The classes are for a duration of three and eight-hour sessions, and will begin in June and July continuing right through September. Bicyclists, who complete the course, will get a bicycle safety helmet, bicycle lights as well as a safety manual.
The classes in English will be conducted by the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition and Bike SGV, while the Spanish-language classes will be conducted by the Multicultural Communities for Mobility.
The classes have been primarily designed to help bicyclists equip themselves with the tools needed to ride safely in what is often a very hostile environment for bicyclists. California bicycle accident lawyers expect that the risks facing bicyclists will increase during the weeks of summer, when more numbers of motorists join the roads. These classes will help bicyclists equip themselves with essential skills that they need to identify potential accident risks and dangers, and avoid these risks.
The classes are designed not just for beginner bicyclists who want to establish the most basic bicycle safety skills, but also more advanced and experienced bicyclists, who want to brush up on their knowledge, and learn more tips to avoid accidents and ride safely.