Transportation safety lacking in Chico


Photo credit: Kristina Judy

Although the favored mode of transportation for locals at Chico State is riding a bike or walking, the lack of safety for either method of transport is clear through the city’s history.

Chico Police Department responded to a vehicle and pedestrian crash on 5th and Walnut Street on March 10, according to the KRCR News website.

The pedestrian was taken to a hospital with major injuries and investigators believe that the pedestrian was heavily intoxicated while trying to cross Walnut Street. Although the driver was sober and provided his statement to the police at the scene, the Chico State Police department was seeking witnesses who could help provide any other information in relations to the crash.

Another person was injured by a vehicle Jan. 30 when a motorist crashed into a pedestrian injured near West Second and Hazel Streets, according to Law Offices of Jacoby and Meyers.

These aren’t the only pedestrian versus vehicle collisions that have occurred. Just last year, a woman was killed in Chico on Nord Ave and the driver fled the scene. According to Pacific Attorney Group, the driver was arrested and booked into Butte County Jail in Oroville facing charges of vehicular manslaughter, driving while intoxicated and felony hit-and-run.

Despite the high volume of accidents just this year, Chico is still a town where most people walk to get to places, especially when going out at night. There are going to be careless pedestrians and drivers, but neither is taking measures to be safer.

As a pedestrian, it is essential to always be aware of your surroundings. In April 2016, Nord Ave installed a new traffic signal where a lot of students walk through. It helped tremendously with safety, as students take what is commonly known as the bike path to get to campus.

Pedestrians should always use traffic lights to help cross streets safely, most importantly at night since it is harder to see drivers walking during these late hours. On Triple A’s Website, a list of safety practices for pedestrians is laid out. Some include remaining visible, staying alert, walking in safe places and avoiding alcohol consumption.

It also includes practices for safe drivers, advising those to look out for pedestrians at all times, yield to pedestrians and not to drive under the influence. While some people can overlook past these rules and think of them as no-brainers, many people tend to drive recklessly and ignore the rules because of how obvious they seem to be.

People aren’t taking transportation safety seriously. Speeding past residential neighborhoods or riding bikes at night without reflective gear is dangerous and will lead to casualties.

Rachel Reyes can be reached at [email protected] or @rachhreyes on Twitter.