Preventing Pedestrian Crashes

March 11, 2008 7:00:31 PM PDT
This is a very busy bus stop and so is the convenience store across the street. People risk their lives by going back and forth all day hoping they don't get hit.It's a battle that pedestrians often lose jaywalking on a major street. It's very dangerous it's a risk. Some pay with their lives.

It happened to Cathya Torres Monday morning. The 14 year old got off a city bus at Blackstone near Shields, tried to cross the six lane street and was killed by a car. One day later we saw countless people doing the exact same thing breaking the law right in front of our camera.

Jamie Jones, Pedestrian: "I've been doing it my whole life but I know it's not good. They just don't have a light here to cross."

Actually, there is a crosswalk, it's about 100 yards away from where the bus stop is. But we only saw a few people use it.

Ricky Chapman, Pedestrian: "I know exactly but to cross the street to the store you have to go all the way down to traffic light just to get across the street to the store."

Fresno police say in 2005 16 pedestrians were killed on city streets. In 2006 there were 12. And last year 11 pedestrians were hit and killed. In 2007 Blackstone near Shields was the most dangerous intersection in the city with 24 injury traffic accidents. Years ago it was First Street near Shaw until this fence went up.

Cpt. Greg Garner, Fresno Police Department: "Anything that would deter pedestrians from crossing in areas that are unsafe for them to cross is helpful."

But the fence isn't stopping everyone. Several areas are bowed where people are hopping the fence to get across the street.

Garner: "Often a pedestrian fatal occurs when a pedestrian ignores the safety precautions that are there."

I spoke with the city's traffic engineer who says there are no plans to install a fence or make any safety changes on Blackstone near Shields. He says pedestrians need to follow the laws and be vigilant when crossing streets.


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