A crosswalk with flashing yellow lights is a high-visibility safety measure that can save lives, but only if motorists pay attention to the lights. Last week in San Mateo, California, a boy on a scooter narrowly escaped being hit by an SUV driven by someone who didn’t see or ignored the warning lights and kept going.
The video above is a chilling reminder of how easily disaster could strike while driving. The kind of vehicular homicide, going to prison, lives destroyed forever kind of disaster that can happen in an instant.
This is like a near miss, the SUV’s tire snatches the girl’s scooter.
Lots of things went wrong here:
— To begin with, obviously the driver of the SUV was very wrong. In a statement, the San Mateo city manager called the driver “inexperienced.” (The driver returned to the scene and gave a statement to police.)
— The boy’s father properly turned on the crosswalk lights before venturing out onto the street. The car in the curb lane, which recorded the dash cam video we’re seeing here, could possibly have interfered with a pedestrian’s line of sight from the inside lane and also the driver’s full view of the crosswalk of the SUV, except the father wasn’t even looking at the lanes of traffic, he was completely off target trying to catch the girl as she slid forward. It was a mistake not to have the girl by the hand, and a mistake for any of the boys to ride scooters. Although even holding hands, if the family had left just a couple of seconds earlier, all three of them might have died.
No matter what kind of flashing signals or other safety infrastructure is built, nothing beats basic skills. There is even a small chance that flashing lights will give a pedestrian a false sense of confidence that they are safe.
So the basics worth reviewing here are:
— Drivers, slow down and approach crosswalks with caution. Keep in mind that it’s easy to miss a pedestrian because SUVs are tall and modern A-pillars are thick.
— Pedestrians, assess traffic before exiting, make eye contact with drivers and even wave to make sure they’re seeing you, wait until they stop, keep looking all the way around (and not at you) telephone). ), hold hands with children crossing with you, and walk on a scooter or bicycle.
Be careful out there.
Keyword: SUV misses a child by inches while hurtling through a flashing crosswalk