A dashcam captured the moment an SUV narrowly missed a young girl crossing a street in San Mateo, California.
Residents in the Bay Meadows neighborhood are now calling for heightened security measures in response.
Jison Hong’s dashcam filmed the incident as a family of three crossed the street as the SUV hit the girl’s scooter and threw it to the side as the girl fell to the ground.
Ms. Hong was waiting for the family to pass when she witnessed the near miss.
“If it had been a few seconds later, she could have been seriously injured,” she told KGO. “Yet my heart pounds every time I think about that moment.”
The incident took place on September 14. The father featured in the video told KGO that his daughter is doing well. 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 flashing pedestrian warning. San Mateo PD said the matter is under investigation.
According to local residents, this is not the first time such an incident has occurred.
“We have written emails, we have spoken at city council meetings,” local resident and VvE chairman Max Partl told KGO. “I think this video has finally sparked some real action.”
Police officer Alison Gilmore told the local TV station that the department is “monitoring traffic in that area so we can remain proactive and ensure the area remains safe for residents and pedestrians and other motorists.”
In a statement, city manager Drew Corbett said: “As a parent, it was extremely difficult to see what was happening and that avoidable incident should never have happened. Although the flashing pedestrian beacons worked as designed, this inexperienced driver clearly didn’t stop for the young child on the road. pedestrian crossing”.
“When something like this happens, we have to ask ourselves why, which is 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 continuing to look at longer term options that require more legal analysis,” added Mr. Corbett said in his statement to KGO, “We also need a community-wide approach to improve road safety and everyone, whether you drive, cycle or walk, has a role to play in making sure we protect each other.”
He said the city has reduced speed in the area by temporarily removing a lane from part of Franklin Parkway. The incident featured in the video took place at the intersection of Franklin and Baze Road in San Mateo, south of San Francisco.
Mr Orbett said another pedestrian beacon will be added to the crossing to increase visibility and police presence will be greater.
The city also recommended, for a second time, that the possibility of adding signs for all directions at the intersection be reviewed. Following the state code, traffic studies are being conducted to find out what changes can be made.
“I had made eye contact with the family who were about to cross the street,” said Ms. Hong. “It’s kind of like, in slow motion, in the corner of my eye I saw this car zoom past a little bit.”
“I am very grateful to the community for their support and the city government for their prompt action on this particular crosswalk, but I also hope for lasting improvements to other crosswalks like this one,” the father told KGO.