School Zone Accident Prevention
I’m Ed Smith, a Eureka car accident lawyer. Drivers in Eureka may soon have to slow their driving down dramatically while they are driving in Eureka’s school zones.
The consent calendar for the Eureka City Council meeting that took place on September 5, 2017, included a resolution that would reduce the legal driving speed on roads near the city’s six schools while students are in the area by a full ten miles per hour, taking the speed limit down to 15 miles per hour.
Additionally, small sections of the busy, two-lane Henderson and Harris streets would have their speed limit reduced from 25 to 20 miles per hour during hours that students are present. These streets would see speed reductions due because the Zoe Barnum High School has changed location to the Lincoln campus on Harris Street, and St. Bernard’s Catholic Academy borders Henderson between D and C streets.
The proposed speed limit changes were asked of city council by a group named Safe Routes to School Task Force that includes an array of members from various organizations such as the county Public Health Branch, the Eureka Police Department (EPD), the Redwood Community Action Agency, the Humboldt County Association of Governments, a number of school districts, and the Eureka Public Works Department.
The proposal is part of a larger county-wide project made possible by the 2008 Safer School Zone Act. The Act allows counties and cities to expand zones in which drivers must slow down for school-related pedestrian traffic as well as lower speed limits to 15 miles per hour up to 500 feet away from school grounds on roads with (at maximum) two lanes of traffic and posted speed limits of (at maximum) 30 miles per hour.
Similar speed reductions in school zones in Fortuna, Arcata, and other parts of Humboldt County have already been implemented.
The goal of the proposed changes is to make school zones more safe for kids that walk, bicycle, or skate in order to get to and from school. With slower moving traffic, the likelihood that young people will receive traumatic injuries in vehicle accidents is significantly lowered.
Pedestrian Collisions in Eureka
According to data gathered by UC Berkeley researchers, Eureka saw 107 injury-causing pedestrian accidents from 2014 to 2016. The large majority of these accidents occurred as a result of vehicles failing to yield to pedestrians. In fact, more than 72 percent of pedestrian/vehicle accidents resulting in injuries in Eureka happened because of a vehicle that did not yield.
Slowing traffic speeds down around areas with heavy pedestrian usage will give pedestrians time to get out of the way of drivers who refuse to yield and also encourages drivers to be more cautious.
More from Ed Smith
Eureka Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Eureka car accident lawyer. A collision can cause serious harm. If you or a loved one has been in a crash, get in touch with me at (707) 564-1900 to receive my friendly legal advice for free. You can also call (800) 404-5400.
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