Santa Monica car accident attorneys have seen an increase in pedestrian-car accidents. Famous for its pedestrian culture and sidewalk cafes, Santa Monica is one of the densest cities in California. Population growth has added considerable traffic and congestion to its city streets, resulting in an increased number of car accidents.
Every weekday, hundreds of students from Kindergarten to college cross the busy intersections from 14th to 18th streets along Ocean Park Boulevard. Drivers tend to break the speed limit on a regular basis and endanger pedestrians along each of the intersections. Ocean Park Boulevard and 14th Street was the site of four separate car accidents in one four-week period. Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue is another dangerous intersection for pedestrian car collisions.
According to data from the California Highway Patrol's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), in 2006, there were two fatal car accidents in Santa Monica and 623 traffic accident-related injuries. Motorcycle accidents injured 19, and 89 bicyclists were hurt in auto collisions. DUI collisions took their toll, accounting for one fatality and 47 injuries. One pedestrian was killed and 93 were injured in city traffic collisions.
As one might expect, speeders and red-light runners contribute to Santa Monica's car collision rate. Collisions caused by red-light violations averaged 4.5 percent of the total number of car collisions over the past three years. In 2004, 2005, and 2006, the percentage of car crashes caused by drivers failing to stop for a red light were as follows:
People are more likely to be injured in red-light violation crashes than in any other type of crash.
Like so many cities, Santa Monica has turned to technology--specifically, red-light camera systems--to help reduce the number of car accidents. According to an international study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), red-light cameras reduce red-light violations by 40 to 50 percent and reduce personal injury car crashes by 25 to 30 percent.
Red-light photo systems are seen by law enforcement across the country as a viable solution to the growing intersection traffic problem. As of 2007, about 250 US cities have red-light photo enforcement programs. According to the Federal Highway Administration, automated enforcement systems can help reduce the number of red light running violations and the vehicular accidents they cause.