This morning a 6-year-old girl was struck by a vehicle in East Austin. After Police investigations, it was reported by The Statesman that the driver hit the girl when she ran across the street to meet her mother at the corner of 12th and Angelina Streets.
Authorities say the child has been transported to Dell Children’s Medical Center with critical injuries. An updated status of the child has not been released at this time.
Authorities reported that the driver stayed at the scene, and do not expect legal charges as a result of the crash.
Austin’s Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents happen all too often. On a national scale, 76,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic accidents in 2012. But this year’s numbers have been the highest in record in many cities nationally. Just in Austin, we have lost over 23 of our friends and neighbors to pedestrian crashes.
When Numbers Become Signals for Change
In Austin, Vision Zero announced new initiatives to make Austin roadways safer for pedestrians, bikers and drivers. The suggestions were presented to city councilors Dec. 1, with initiatives in three areas: education, enforcement, and engineering.
The newest presentation to City Council reveals an expansion in the city’s No Refusal campaign from 24 days to 68 days. But the police department says they can’t do it alone.
Other changes, in engineering, will go to update 5 dangerous intersections that make up 20% of Austin’s top 25 crash locations.
- West Slaughter Lane and Manchaca Road (South Austin)
- Lamar Boulevard and Rundberg Lane (North Austin)
- Lamar Boulevard and Parmer Lane (North Austin)
- U.S. 183 Service Road and Cameron Road (Northeast Austin)
- I-35 Southbound Service Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (near Downtown)
And for education? Authorities say 92 percent of deaths were in prohibited areas like frontage roads and crossing high speed roadways. What we didn’t find in the report? Alternative pedestrian routes for people who must commute by foot.
Austin has a traffic problem, but it’s not alone unfortunately. 2015 saw record highs across the country for Austin traffic fatalities.
Cities with a Deadly Problem
New York City, San Francisco, among others like Austin, TX have become sister cities for one unfortunate characteristic – the number of fatalities we’ve witnessed. Both city’s worrisome data warrants a new task force for rethinking infrastructure and policy – all with one noble purpose of minimizing our rising traffic fatalities down to zero.
In New York City, preliminary data shows that of 197 fatalities this year, 109 were pedestrians. The De Blasio Administration is running overtime hours with increased enforcement on distracted driving, failure to yield to pedestrians, and speeding.
And their Vision Zero initiatives mirror those in Austin – including 25 mph speed limits on city streets, adding speed cameras, and updating the patterns on streets and road junctions.
Change couldn’t come quickly enough for New Yorkers, most of whom use public transport and walk to work. According to their Vision Zero Task Force, the number one injury-related cause of death for children under 14 is being struck by a vehicle.
There is no silver bullet that will end traffic fatalities.
-Vision Zero, New York City
Today’s accident brings up old questions. But hopefully we are finding new solutions – and implementing them fast. That old adage of walking two miles to school is old, because parents often fear for the safety of their children walking to and from school. With any luck, the work of groups like Vision Zero will allow girls to safely cross the street. (Fingers crossed.)
If you have been impacted by a car accident or pedestrian accident, consider contacting a lawyer to help with the many questions and negotiations you’ll be faced with afterward. Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn are happy to evaluate your case quickly and without cost. Call us at 512-474-0222, use the live chat on our website, fill out the form on this page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.