Making the streets safer for cyclists and promoting cycling for all are goals of the International Cycling Safety Conference, to be held Sept. 21-22 at the University of California, Davis, Conference Center.
Vulnerable Road Users [VRU] include pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. Among these, pedestrians are certainly in very serious danger in California.
“Just 10 years ago, 17 percent of California’s roadside [sic] fatalities involved pedestrians. That number has since grown to 25 percent…. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, preliminary results show a record-high 900 people died [in 2016] across the Golden State – an increase [of more than five percent] from 852 in 2015.“
Many experts consider that the use of smartphones, etc., both by drivers and other road users is a major factor in such elevated numbers of road deaths.
Removing or alternating passing/overtaking possibilities on undivided rural highways, together with the introduction of narrow-profile guard rails between the center lines is a technique that was pioneered very successfully by Sweden and has now been used with similar success in New Zealand. And there’s definitely both the scope and the need to use it in the USA, too.
In pursuit of Vision Zero, LA is introducing what California (and the USA?) is calling scramble crosswalks, at which all traffic is stopped simultaneously while pedestrians can cross the intersection in any direction, including diagonally.
In this post, I am not particularly picking on California as such, because the weird situation I’m about to describe apparently happens in many, or maybe even all states (see the Massachusetts example in the photo below).
On July 20, 2017, the California Department of Motor Vehicles published this on its Facebook timeline: ‘Don’t litter! The fine is $1,000, & you may be forced to pick up what you threw. Convictions go on your driving record.’ (Our italics, for emphasis.)
An attached photograph on the DMV post shows a picture of somebody dropping trash from the driver’s door window of a white car.