A dashcam captured the moment an SUV narrowly missed a teenage girl crossing a street in San Mateo, California.
In response, residents in the Bay Meadows district are now demanding increased security measures.
Jison Hong’s dashcam was filming the incident as a family of three was crossing the street when the SUV hit the girl’s scooter, throwing it sideways as the girl fell to the ground.
Ms. Hong was waiting for the family to come over when she witnessed the near miss.
“If it had been a few seconds later, she could have seriously injured herself,” she told KGO. “Even so, my heart pounds every time I think back to that moment.”
The incident happened on September 14th. The father seen in the video told KGO that his daughter is fine. The outlet also reported that the driver returned to the intersection and spoke to police.
The driver in the video was reportedly a teenager who failed to notice the pedestrian warning flashing. San Mateo PD said the matter is being investigated.
Local residents in the area said that this is not the first time such an incident has happened.
“We wrote emails, we spoke at City Council meetings,” local resident and HOA President Max Partl told KGO. “I think now this video finally sparked some real action.”
Police Officer Alison Gilmore told local TV station that the department is “monitoring traffic in this area so we can continue to act proactively and ensure the area remains safe for residents, pedestrians and other motorists”.
In a statement, City Manager Drew Corbett said: “As a parent, it was particularly difficult to watch what happened and this preventable incident should never have happened. Although the flashing pedestrian beacons worked as intended, this inexperienced driver clearly failed to stop for the small child at the crosswalk.”
“When something like this happens, we have to ask ourselves why, and that’s why we take immediate action to further improve safety at this intersection. Our Council is prioritizing road safety in the neighborhood and in response to this incident we are increasing pedestrian visibility and reducing speeds in this area while we continue to evaluate longer-term options that legally require more analysis,” added Mr Corbett in his statement to KGO added. “We also need a community-wide approach to improve road safety, and everyone, whether you’re driving, cycling or walking, has a role to play in making sure we keep each other safe.”
He said the city has reduced speed in the area by temporarily removing one lane of traffic from a portion of the Franklin Parkway. The incident shown in the video occurred at the intersection of Franklin Road and Baze Road in San Mateo, south of San Francisco.
Mr Orbett said another pedestrian beacon will be added to the junction to increase visibility and there will be a higher police presence.
The city also recommended, for the second time, that the possibility of installing continuous stop signs at the intersection be explored. According to state regulations, traffic studies are being conducted to find out what changes can be made.
“I made eye contact with the family who were about to cross the street,” Ms. Hong said. “A bit like slow motion, I kind of saw this car zooming by out of the corner of my eye.”
“I am very grateful to the community for their support and the city government for their quick action on this particular crosswalk, but I also hope for lasting improvements on other crosswalks like this one,” the father told KGO.