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Drivers need to watch out for pedestrians

 

Last updated 1/2/2020 at 11:36pm



We all know Fallbrook is a dangerous place to be a pedestrian, but I witnessed such a close call as a driver, I decided to at least pen a letter to remind my fellow Fallbrookians that pedestrians in crosswalks, marked or unmarked, have right of way over cars.

One of the best-marked crosswalks in Fallbrook, at Aviation and South Main Avenue in front of Trupiano’s, seems to be both the most disregarded and the most dangerous. My husband and father-in-law were witnesses when a pedestrian died there early in 2019, mowed down by a minivan turning left from Aviation onto S Main.

Today, traveling south on Main Avenue after passing the Major Market plaza, I stopped for a female pedestrian at the same Aviation crosswalk after at least three cars in both directions failed to do so. The driver immediately behind me stopped safely, but the car behind us ended up in the turn lane to avoid a rear-end collision. It gets worse!

As the pedestrian crossed in front of me and into the northbound lane, the driver of a gray SUV making a right turn from Aviation nearly mowed her down, despite my frantic honking. I could see the driver was only looking to her left at the oncoming traffic, oblivious to the crosswalk. If the pedestrian hadn’t jumped out of the way, she would have been hit!

According to the California Vehicle Code 21950, drivers “shall yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.”

In the past few months since purchasing an electric bicycle (that I’m mostly afraid to ride to town), I’ve become much more aware of bicycles and pedestrians. Now an aggressive walker, you may see me walk in front of drivers at crosswalks, daring them not to yield (sometimes they don’t, and I jump aside as they pass). Some drivers are very friendly and courteous; it’s not everyone.

Fallbrook drivers: If you’re driving down Main Avenue, maybe past Hawthorne where the crosswalk is only a change in the brick pattern, please know this is still a crosswalk, as it would be even if completely unmarked. We have enough problems in Fallbrook with long stretches of 4-lane Mission that lack crosswalks altogether. Let’s all try to raise our awareness of pedestrians (and bikes) so that everyone can stay safe. Our town isn’t very walkable, so drivers and pedestrians must both be extra vigilant.

I’m going to make it my personal goal for 2020 to improve the safety of that crosswalk at Aviation and South Main Avenue. If anyone wants to join me, give me a call or text, and we can work together: (858) 674-5749.

Lauren Brimmer

 

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