There are ways to deal with pedestrian safety in the short term and long term. The short term involves individual choices such as safer driving practices and wearing brighter clothes to be more visible. The long-term solutions involve safer pedestrian infrastructure commonly approved through bureaucratic policy.
These life-saving policies tend to bog down in the lawmaking process as appeals and reviews tie them up before passing. As Mass Transit reports, a California law designed to protect environmental and safety projects from appeals has seen big changes with encouraging results. Policy leaders aim to expand it into the future.
The indefinite extension of SB288
Senate Bill 288 allowed many projects that encouraged street-safety improvements to see approval in weeks and months instead of years. Senate Bill 922 aims to extend and expand the 2020 law. It exempts eligible projects that modernize and improve infrastructure for bicyclists, pedestrians and mass transit.
Legislative committees seek to hear SB922 in the Spring session of 2022. While it is not certain California lawmakers will approve the bill, its SB288 predecessor passed with almost no opposition. The report did not cite specific projects passed as a result of this bill.
Pedestrian safety today
Despite the encouraging improvements, pedestrian safety law is never a 100% guarantee. Laws that give pedestrians the right of way in marked crosswalks do not stop distracted drivers. Pedestrians often suffer damage that is severe or fatal in a car accident and the financial costs and difficulties with insurance only exacerbate the situation. Anyone involved in a pedestrian accident may wish to learn more on the subject to increase the chance of a more favorable outcome.