Announcing @chpfatal: In response to the recent fascination with bike accident map projects, I’ve created @chpfatal on Twitter. It’s a real time feed of fatal car crashes in California as reported by the California Highway Patrol.
We had about 3,000 traffic fatalities in California in 2009, which is about eight lost lives everyday. The Twitter feed, which only grabs fatalities which occur on the highway and are reported to the CHP, has been running roughly two fatalities per day, while the official state statistics of 3000+ deaths tabulates all fatalities whether the responding police is the CHP or a local agency. The official state stats also record deaths that occur after the crash at, for example, the trauma center, while @chpfatal tweets mostly record the fatalities that occur on the highway itself or (sometimes) enroute to emergency treatment.
I plan to soon update my software so it creates a CSV database on the fly that can then be used by Google Fusion Tables so you can map, infograph and otherwise visualize the highway fatality data to your heart’s content.
- Heavy rains this last week resulted in water spilling over the Lake Hodges dam near Escondido, California. Hundreds of residents parked along the side of Del Dios Highway to watch the rushing water cascade over the spillway. The California Highway Patrol responded by ticketing those who blocked the bike lane.
- In this incident on Sonoma Highway east of Santa Rosa, California, it appears a driver was following behind a peloton of 15 cyclists when one of the cyclists fell. The driver slammed on his brakes to avoid hitting the cyclist, but then was rear-ended by the driver behind him. Sonoma Highway is a narrow two lane with a 45 MPH speed limit at Hoff Road. Thank you to Murph for correctly my earlier mistaken report on this.
- Santa Barbara: Bicyclist vs skateboarder.
- San Jose, CA: Hit-and-run Sunday morning puts cyclist David Garcia into a coma.
- Tennessee: Dump truck driver swerves into shoulder, sends cyclist Michael Montgomery to the hospital, but doesn’t get a ticket. Props to Henry.
- Finally, New York state legislator proposes registration and annual safety inspections for bicycles. As evidenced by my list of recent bike involved ‘incidents’ above, I can see how well that might work out. And in case you’re not convinced New York is different, don’t miss Streetsblog’s regular coverage of New York carnage.