Yellow Light at Intersection Means Speed Up to Some

This weekend, a troublesome story out of OCRegister rang a not all too uncommon bell for some residents in Southern California.

A young girl was ejected out of a van when another vehicle ran a red light. Although it is not common for children to be thrown out of the vehicle, the part that involves running the red light is sadly nothing new in SoCal.

In Southern California, yellow apparently means speed up.

The exact cause of the accident is still under investigation but something tells me the driver tried to run the red light in hopes of “making it through”.

This type of behavior is all too common among Southern California drivers, who would rather speed up at a changing intersection than slow down to stop. I bet if we put a police officer at any busy intersection, at least 20% of the passing traffic through the changing light will speed up rather than slow down.

This may seem like no big deal to some who are doing this on daily basis, but terrifying accidents like the ones mentioned above will bring many back to reality.

The girl in the story is expected to survive, which is great news. However, one can’t help but imagine what would happen if this were a pedestrian-vehicle accident instead of a vehicle on vehicle side collision.

Walking around downtown LA it doesn’t take long to witness someone almost running over a pedestrian at any single intersection. In fact, it can be said that you are risking your life every day commuting to work unless you pause and wait to see what’s happening with the traffic at a red light.

I have personally witnessed people run into the road as soon as the walk sign is on, with complete disregard as to whether the cars are actually stopping. On more than one occasion a vehicle has even failed to stop at the red light, going right through in front of several pedestrians including myself.

Some parts of LA are dangerous enough as it is without the help of additional traffic accidents. It wasn’t too long ago that a student ran over a crowd of other students by failing to stop at the light.

If people would exercise better judgement by focusing on the road, everyone would be much better off. Pedestrians in particular shouldn’t have to feel threatened every time they cross a road. Speeding up at a changing intersection light instead of slowing down can result in some of the very same causes of pedestrian accidents as collision events witnessed last Saturday in Fountain Valley.

We would like to remind everyone to practice safe driving by paying close attention to changing lights and making better judgements when it comes to stopping.

Image courtesy of Flickr (yellow light.)

Vibhu Talwar is a Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney who represents people all over Southern California.

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