According to LAist, the City of Santa Monica will be putting in eleven pedestrian scrambles to help make the streets safer and attempt to prevent Santa Monica pedestrian accidents. Because of the amount of foot traffic in downtown Santa Monica, we hope that these measures will help prevent accidents and help move traffic along at a more efficient pace.
The pedestrian scrambles function by stopping all cars in all directions at the designated intersections so that pedestrians can cross in all directions, including diagonally across an intersection. With cars stopped in all directions, this should lead to fewer people getting hit by a car in Santa Monica.
Also, because drivers will not have to wait for pedestrians to cross when making turns, this should help cause less traffic congestion on the streets of downtown Santa Monica. The counter argument would be that since there must be a significant time after each traffic cycle where all vehicles are stopped, this could cause certain traffic backlogs.
The city of Los Angeles has used pedestrian scrambles in certain areas that are crowded with pedestrians. Some of these scrambles have worked out, while others have not. Sometimes it takes pedestrians and drivers some time to understand how the scrambles work and how to use them efficiently.
Many of our Santa Monica and Los Angeles pedestrian accident cases involve cars that are making left or right turns. Drivers making left turns will often times be focused on oncoming traffic and will turn as soon as they do not see any cars coming. Unfortunately, they may not have noticed that a pedestrian was crossing the street and may hit the pedestrian. Also, when making right turns, many drivers pull up into a crosswalk while only looking to the left for oncoming vehicles, so they can turn right. They also frequently do not check their right side for pedestrians or bicyclists, which leads to many accidents.
Our office has been very successful representing pedestrians and bicyclists who are hit by vehicles. Even when the police report has blamed our client, we have been able to prove that certain drivers were still negligent, contributing to causing the bicycle or pedestrian accident and our client’s injuries or wrongful death damages.