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Excessive Speed on California Roadways



Obey The Sign or Pay The Fine

Excessive Speed on California Roadways

Speeding is becoming an increasingly important topic in Southern California and along the Central Coast. It seems like we’re seeing more one-car, run-off-the-road crashes where excessive speed is listed as a factor. Whether a person is endangering him or herself in a one-vehicle wreck or multiple other roadway users, excessive speed needs to be addressed on California roads.

Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine” campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the direct economic expenses related to speeding. Unfortunately, not everybody is motivated to stop speeding because of the crash data. Although the total societal costs of fatal crashes related to speeding are astronomical, it sometimes takes reminding people that speeding tickets are expensive! It can directly impact their pocketbooks.

U.S. Speeding Facts

• In 2012, 10,219 speeding-related fatalities occurred across the U.S.
• Speeding-related fatalities increased by 2 percent form 2011 to 2012.
• In 2012, speeding was a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes.
• In 2012, 37 percent of 15 to 20-year-old and 37 percent of 21 to 24-year-old male drivers involved in fatal crashes were speeding.
• In 2012, 42 percent of all speeding driers had blood alcohol levels of .08 or higher.
• Only 12 percent of speeding-related fatalities occurred on Interstate highways in 2012.

Speeding in School Zones and Work Zones

Sure, everybody knows it’s important to follow the posted speed limits. After all, they are put there to keep the roadways safe, but what about school zones and work zones? Fines are often much higher in these areas, and with good reason. The danger to child pedestrians and roadway workers is incredibly high when drivers aren’t following posted speeds. In addition to following all posted signs and speeds, drivers need to remain vigilant and alert in these areas. Vulnerable pedestrians are nearby.

After a Crash Involving a Speeding Driver

After a crash involving a speeding driver, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case. Although you may be out of work and in the hospital, a skilled injury attorney can be your advocate during this difficult time. If a speeding driver has injured you or a loved one, contact the skilled team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. for a free case consultation today.

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Pregnant Woman and Children Injured in Goleta Crash

Pregnant Woman and Children Injured in Goleta Crash

On Tuesday, at least three people were injured in a multi-car crash on Highway 101. According to Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk, initial reports indicate that five vehicles were involved in the crash, including a hit-and-run driver. At this time there’s no word on what caused the crash, which is likely still under investigation with authorities. The initial wreck involved only two vehicles, although other vehicles pulled over to help.

Among the injured victims were a pregnant woman and two children. They suffered from injuries when their vehicle rolled over. Thankfully, they were all buckled up and properly restrained, so their injuries were described as minor. They were taken to the hospital as a precaution. An additional victim from another car also reported minor injuries.

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Pedestrian Killed in La Jolla Identified

Pedestrian Killed in La Jolla Identified

Last week, a woman was struck by a car while exiting her vehicle in La Jolla. The incident happened on the 7700 block of Girard Avenue. According to KUSI News, the victim has been identified as Melissa Ratcliff, Vice President of Marketing for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Although she was rushed to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, she did not survive her injuries. NBC Channel Seven News reports that the 91-year-old driver was backing out of a parking spot before crossing the street and pinning the victim between the two cars. The team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. sends their deepest condolences to the family members, friends and coworkers or Melissa Ratcliff.

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Traffic Safety and Awareness Walk

Change a Lane, Save a Life

Traffic Safety and Awareness Walk

Community members from Santa Maria recently participated in 2014’s Traffic Safety and Awareness Memorial Walk at Preisker Park. Loved ones of Matthew O’Neill, a cyclist who was struck and killed by a teen driver in August, were raising awareness for their “Change a Lane, Save a Life” campaign. Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk reported on the event, which was in its second year running.

UC Santa Barbara Grad Student Cyclist Killed

On August 9, 2014, 33-year-old Matthew O’Neill was struck and killed while riding his bicycle near Foxen Canyon and Dominion Roads. He was a USCB graduate student and an advocate for people with disabilities. A teen driver towing a horse trailer with a large pickup struck and killed. The teen driver has since been charged with vehicular manslaughter and related infractions.

Change a Lane, Save a Life

Under California law, motorists are now required to give bicyclists at least three feet while passing or slow down and wait until an appropriate opportunity to safely pass arises. Unfortunately, not everybody has caught on to the importance of this new law. The “Change a Lane, Save a Life” campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the importance of always adhering to the three-foot rule. O’Neill’s loved ones were handing out green ribbons and wristbands to remind people about the importance of changing a lane or waiting to pass until safe to do so.

Bicycle Crash Facts across the U.S.

• In 2012, 726 cyclists were killed in crashes with automobiles.
• In 2011, 682 cyclists were killed in car crashes.
• Cyclists accounted for 2 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in 2012.
• In 2012, 69 percent of all cyclist deaths occurred in urban areas.
• In 2010, an estimated 515,000 emergency room visits were due to bicycle-related injuries.

After a Bicycle Accident

Bicyclists are a vulnerable roadway user group. They don’t have seatbelts or airbags. Motorists don’t always observe and adhere to the new three-feet rule either. Distracted drivers and impaired drivers can cause devastating and fatal accidents, especially when cyclists and pedestrians are involved. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact the experienced team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. for a free case consultation today. Many of our lawyers are avid hobby cyclists and understand the important issues and dangers that bicycle riders face on a daily basis.

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Montecito Motorcycle Crash

Montecito Motorcycle Crash

On Monday, a crash involving a motorcycle and a car sent one person to the hospital. According to Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk, the incident happened at about 10:20 a.m. on East Valley Road at a four-way intersection with San Ysidro Road. At this time, very few details have been released.

The motorcyclist was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of injuries, but there’s no word on his current condition or the extent of injuries involved. The driver of the car didn’t report any immediate injuries. Crews were on the scene, and a tow truck was called to haul the motorcycle away. The cause of this crash is still under investigation with authorities.

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Fatal One-Car Crash in Escondido

Fatal One-Car Crash in Escondido

Early Sunday morning, a one-car crash in Escondido fatally injured two people. According to ABC Channel 10 News, the wreck happened just after 3:00 a.m. on Bear Valley Parkway. For currently unknown reasons, the driver of a 1999 Toyota Corolla was speeding around a slight curve just before Canyon Road when the car veered off the roadway.

Police officers report that the car struck a post and caught fire. Although speed is believed to have been a factor in this one-car wreck, there’s no word on whether or not any alcohol was involved. The driver was pronounced dead on the scene, and although first responders were able to extricate the passenger of the car, he died as a result of his injuries in the hospital a few hours later. The team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. sends their deepest condolences to the families and friends of the two men who were killed in this crash.

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Flashing Lights Mean… Move Over

Flashing Lights Mean… Move Over

Flashing Lights Mean… Move Over

Officials with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) want motorists to know that “Flashing Lights Mean… Move Over.” If drivers see amber flashing Caltrans lights, the need to move over or slow down to protect highway workers, CHP officers and other service providers on the roadway. Although most drivers know to pull over or slow down when emergency response vehicles or law enforcement officers are approaching with flashing lights, there are still some drivers who aren’t pulling over or slowing down for Caltrans vehicles. Motorists are required, by law, to move over when it is safe to do so or slow down if they see the amber flashing lights of a Caltrans vehicle.

A Deadly Summer on California Roadway Worksites

Over the summer, Caltrans partnered with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the California Office of Traffic Safety to get the word out about the “Move Over” law. The joint safety effort was launched in response to the three Caltrans highway workers who were killed on the job in May and June. Although the Move Over law was put into effect in 2007, it wasn’t until 2009 that Caltrans vehicles were added. Even with the law, motorists are still dangerously ignoring Caltrans vehicles and workers.

“Slow for the Cone Zone”

In July, we reported on Caltrans’ “Slow for the Cone Zone” safety campaign, which was aimed at raising awareness about the importance of slowing down through work zones. Motorists were reminded to slow down, put down their cell phones and pay attention while traveling through work zones, so that roadway workers could make it safely home to their families at the end of the day.

Keeping Roadway Workers Safe

In 2012, there were 130 roadway worker fatalities across the U.S., and since 1924, 178 Caltrans workers have lost their lives on the job site. Keeping roadway workers safe needs to be a top priority for motorists, because most, if not all of these crashes, are totally preventable. It all boils down to slowing down in work zones and staying alert. If you see the flashing amber lights of a Caltrans vehicle, move over or slow down and pay attention. There could be workers or roadway work situations nearby.

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Santa Maria Pedestrian Struck by Car

Santa Maria Pedestrian Struck by Car

On Monday evening, a 54-year-old man was struck by a car and seriously injured in Santa Maria. He was crossing West Donovan Road, near Lincoln Street just before 6:00 p.m. According to Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk, he was struck by a westbound vehicle.

First responders rushed to the scene, and the victim had to be airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. His injures were described as moderate to serious, but there’s no word on his current condition.

Very little information has been released about why or how the pedestrian was struck, or if he was using a crosswalk area at the time of the crash. At this time, the incident remains under investigation with law enforcement officials.

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Pedestrian Fatally Struck in La Jolla

Pedestrian Fatally Struck in La Jolla

On Tuesday, a female pedestrian was struck and killed by an automobile in La Jolla. According to ABC Channel 10 News, the incident happened in the 7700 block of Girard Avenue, just before 12:00 p.m. Apparently, the woman was hit by a 2005 Ford vehicle that was backing up. ABC Channel 10 News didn’t report on the make of the Ford or whether or not it was a small passenger vehicle, a larger work truck or SUV. She was pinned and unconscious when first responders arrived on the scene.

Although she was rushed to Scripps La Jolla Hospital, she did not survive her injuries. She was pronounced dead at the hospital, and this terrible incident is still under investigation with law enforcement officials. The team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. sends their deepest condolences to her family members and friends.

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International Walk and Bike to School Day

International Walk and Bike to School Day

International Walk and Bike to School Day

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just issued a safety advisory for International Walk and Bike to School Day. On Wednesday, October 8, 2014, U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx and Deputy Secretary Mendez will be participating in International Walk and Bike to School Day to raise awareness about the safety issues facing young pedestrians and cyclists who travel to and from school each day.

Sadly, about 100 children, from ages five to 18, are killed while walking or biking to school each year. Although walking and cycling to school offer students, teachers and parents great health benefits, those activities don’t come without risk. The NHTSA encourages parents to talk to their children about safe walking and riding practices and ways to improve their personal safety, but ultimately, it’s up to motorists to look out for kids. Listed below are some great safety tips for children and motorists.

Safety Tips for Children

• Pedestrians 10 years old and younger should be accompanied by an adult or young adult.
• Always use sidewalks when available, or walk as far left as possible.
• Never push, shove or horseplay with others when you’re walking.
• Always look left-right-left before crossing streets.
• Use crosswalks when available.
• When bicycling to school, always wear a helmet and buckle the chinstrap.
• Ride on lower-traffic streets.
• Always ride the same direction as traffic.
• Never wear headphones or use cell phones when riding.

Safety Tips for Motorists

• Always be on the lookout for pedestrians, big and small.
• Use extra caution when visibility is reduced, at night or in poor weather.
• Slow down and be prepared to stop at crosswalk areas.
• Always yield to pedestrians.
• Never pass vehicles at crosswalk areas, there could be children or other pedestrians crossing that you can’t see.
• Never drive distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
• Always follow speed limits, and be especially vigilant in school zones.
• Use additional caution when backing up.

Getting to School Safely

Getting children to and from school safely needs to be a priority for the entire community. Parents should talk with their children about safe pedestrian and cycling tips, and motorists should be on the lookout for students, especially in school zones. Early morning and afternoon rush hours can be hectic, so allow additional time to get where you’re going, because you’re sharing the road with children.

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