|18th jogs here at Center Street|
There are convenience stores and an AA/Recovery club here
It's also another busy street signed for 30mph
Even in full daylight, this is a tricky crossing,
and without a marked crosswalk, drivers rarely stop.
You might think this is hyperbole, but the thing is, if we have a system in which drivers are acting lawfully and ostensibly reasonably in accordance with current practices - and they are still killing people, don't we have a system problem?
The position here is, why yes indeed, we have a profound system problem, one that claims the lives of over 30,000 people a year nationwide. These are not random, not vagaries of chance or accidents or "acts of God." These deaths are preventable, and the people are causalities of a system designed for hydraulic auto capacity, not for human capacity. In an urban environment, Twenty is plenty.
|Odds of fatality by speed:|
20mph - 5%
30mph - 40%
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Salem Police are investigating an early morning fatal vehicle/pedestrian crash on Center St NE near 18th St NE.Was it his fault was walking slowly and needed a cane for assistance? Does this relieve the driver of some responsibility?
Salem Police officers were dispatched to the intersection at approximately 5:45 this morning and found that 64-year old Stephen Buchanan of Keizer had been driving eastbound on Center St when he struck 77-year old David McGregor of Salem. Mr McGregor was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Mr McGregor was in an unmarked crosswalk attempting to cross Center St from the south side of the roadway to the north side when he was struck by the 2005 full-sized van that was being operated by Mr. Buchanan. He was wearing dark clothing and was walking very slowly with a cane at the time of the incident. Mr Buchanan stopped immediately and was cooperative with the investigation.
Center St was closed for approximately 3 1/2 hours while the Salem Police Department Traffic Control Unit reconstructed the scene.
No arrests have been made or citations issued at this time as the investigation is continuing.
The release suggests that the burden for safety falls upon the walking public, and suggests that they be lit up like Christmas trees or that they be walking traffic cones clad in high-viz apparel. Seriously, that people on foot using the roads need to invest in special pedestrian safety equipment, and that if they don't it's their fault they might be hurt or killed. To say "to improve the chances you will be seen by motorists" implies the default condition is that you will not be seen.
If being seen is such a problem - again, this is a sign of a system problem, not an "accident" in a system that operates routinely and safely.
The Salem Police Department would like to provide these safety tips for pedestrians:At the least, why isn't there an equivalent warning for drivers?
-Especially in poor weather conditions, it is very important to be visible and vigilant while walking on and around roadways.
-Make sure to cross roadways at intersections and in either marked or unmarked crosswalks.
-Look both ways before crossing any roadway and make eye contact with approaching drivers to make sure they see you.
-Don't assume that because you are in a crosswalk or are crossing with a signal that drivers actually see you.
-Regardless of walking during the daylight or night time hours, always wear bright and reflective clothing and carry a light with you.
-It is also a good idea to have some type of flashing light with you just to improve the chances that you will be seen by motorists.
Remember: Put your best foot forward before crossing the street!
Especially in poor weather conditions, observing the Basic Rule may require speeds substantially below the posted limits. Assume any street corner is an unmarked crosswalk and be prepared to yield to people on foot. People on foot are more vulnerable than those in cars and deserve special consideration. Etc., etc.So upsetting.
Heartfelt condolences to friends and family of the Crosslands and of David McGregor.