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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on May 3rd, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 9 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 19, Issue 9

Child injured by vehicle in Santa Maria

By KASEY BUBNASH

A 5-year-old child was hit and injured by a car on April 30 in Santa Maria after the child allegedly ran into the street on the 800 block of West Harding Avenue. The driver of the car, according to the Santa Maria Police Department, tried but failed to stop and collided with the child.

The child was later taken to Marian Medical Center with minor injuries, according to the department. Police preliminarily determined the driver was not at fault, and Traffic Sgt. Duane Schneider said the investigation is ongoing.

The incident comes one month after 43-year-old Veronica Perez, a Santa Maria resident, was hit and killed by a Route 7 Santa Maria Area Transit Bus while riding a bicycle on East McCoy Lane in April. That incident is also still being investigated by the Santa Maria Police Department's traffic bureau, Schneider said.

"The report is getting close to being done," Schneider told the Sun, "but we don't have any new information."

Despite Santa Maria's relatively low levels of foot traffic, Schneider said police typically see about 50 to 60 pedestrian collisions with vehicles each year. Thirty-eight pedestrians were killed or injured by vehicles in 2015, the most recent data available, according to data compiled by the Office of Traffic Safety, and 34 cyclists were killed or injured by vehicles that same year.

Santa Maria Police have been working to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety in the city for years now, Schneider said, with the help of grant funding from the Office of Traffic Safety.

Recent operations revealed that many local pedestrians and bicyclists fail to follow the rules of the road, Schneider said. Pedestrians often cross busy streets like Broadway without using crosswalks, Schneider said, or even cross where posted signs indicate no-crossing zones.

Jaywalking can be dangerous for pedestrians and oncoming bicyclists and vehicles, and Schneider said it often leads to unfortunate collisions.

"A lot of times pedestrians are at fault," Schneider said, adding that the department is cracking down on illegal pedestrian crossing for that reason. Santa Maria Police are also encouraging drivers to share the road with pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycles.










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