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Should drivers who hit pedestrians face tougher penalties?
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

new report from the Center for Investigative Reporting finds that most drivers responsible for striking and killing pedestrians are not jailed – or even ticketed.

The San Francisco Bay Area, pedestrians comprise 25% of the traffic-related deaths – much higher than the national average. A third of them were hit while crossing the street in a crosswalk.

California’s vehicular manslaughter law has a misdemeanor option, but most drivers did not face charges. Most kept their driver’s license.

When they were charged with a crime, punishments were usually light, and included no jail time.

“ Walkers are perhaps the most unprotected users of the transportation system. The human body is no match for 3,000 pounds of speeding steel. Autopsy reports routinely describe blood-soaked clothing, fractured skulls, cracked ribs and broken limbs.” - Center for Investigative Reporting

When the main cause of a pedestrian-car collision is a violation like speeding, not stopping at a signal, or not yielding to the pedestrian, why are prosecutors unwilling to bring even misdemeanor charges against negligent motorists who injure and kill people?

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