Members of the California Alliance for Retired Americans, California Walks, and Californians for Disability Rights traveled to Sacramento to lobby for AB 707 (Ting).
"We owe our seniors the freedom to move about without the fear of being hit by fast-moving traffic," Ting said. "AB 707 will provide added safety to those areas where seniors congregate. By giving motorists a heads up with additional signage warning of senior pedestrians in close range, the number of accidents will be reduced."
In recent years there has been an overall reported rise in traffic-related pedestrian fatalities nationwide. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, individuals over the age of 65 are especially vulnerable, and account for approximately 19 percent of those fatalities. Each day, 324 people on average are treated in emergency departments for pedestrian injuries related to motor vehicle accidents, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And older patients, at least age 55, are more likely to suffer from multiple fractures than their younger counterparts.
In California, according to a report issued in February 2012 by the California Office for Traffic Safety, the number of seniors at least 65 years old who were killed in pedestrian traffic accidents was up by almost five percent in 2010 as compared to the year before.
"Many seniors in California are quite active and enjoy walking and getting outdoors to shop, exercise and socialize," Ting told the committee. "The least we can do is provide a safer environment for them. Those are our parents out there."
Assemblymember Ting's district includes 19th Avenue, a major artery through San Francisco, which has been the site of many accidents involving pedestrians in recent years.
AB 707 enjoys the support of the California Alliance for Retired Americans, California Walks and California Disability Rights, all of whom testified in support of the bill at the Transportation Committee hearing yesterday. The bill now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Assemblymember Ting is the Chair of Assembly Democratic Caucus and the Assembly Select Committee on Asia/California Trade and Investment Promotion, and he serves on the Budget, Business, Professions and Consumer Protection, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials and the Revenue and Taxation committees.