So far this year, 39 people have lost their lives in traffic collisions in the city, and 21 of them – nearly 54% – were pedestrians.
On a related note, I now track traffic incidents that involve pedestrians to the CHP Bike incident feed on Twitter. I will likely create a new Twitter feed just for pedestrians in the near future because so many people get hit while they’re just walking around.
Those of you who follow @CHPFATAL on Twitter may have noticed some changes I’ve made over this past week. Namely:
- Accurate place names with street address and city instead of the California Highway Patrol dispatch center.
- Clickable link to Google Maps to take you directly to the incident location.
- Weather conditions at the time of the incident.
- A new and improved index of incidents.
These match similar changes I recently made to the CHPBIKE feed. Somebody recently asked why some areas of California have more bicycle incidents reported that other areas, especially if you look at the 2014 bicycle crash map. There are a couple of reasons.
First of all, the geocoding for these incidents was broken until about a month ago. Several CHP dispatch centers cover multiple counties, and these lookups were prone to failure with my old algorithm. I know grab the latitude / longitude information directly from the CHP dispatch feed.
The other reason you might see weird clusters of bike incidents is the way 9-1-1 calls from mobile devices are handled in California. In many areas of the state, all mobile 9-1-1 calls are handled by a CHP dispatch center. These are the calls my incident feed program can use. Some cities and regions have their own local 9-1-1 dispatch center with the capability to also take mobile calls. Most emergency calls from a cell phone in San Francisco, for example, are routed to San Francisco’s local dispatch center rather than to the CHP office.
I’ve finished chasing that rabbit, so don’t forget — California Walks Pedestrian Safety Vigil in San Jose, December 11.