As fall rolls in, the death toll is rising for Gwinnett County pedestrians killed by motor vehicles. Just after I posted a blog on the profusion of Gwinnett County car-pedestrian collisions we’ve had lately, another Lawrenceville pedestrian fatality was reported on Pleasant Hill Road. According to police, the victim evidently was attempting to cross in a no-crossing zone, and was probably homeless, but none of this changes the fact that one more human life was lost.
Meanwhile, in the wake of a 13-year-old Dacula pedestrian Dakota Wilson’s death last week, residents and city officials have been debating the safety of the intersection on which the boy was killed. The intersection is more aptly a junction of Jim Moore Road, a major Dacula thoroughfare, and Braselton Highway. Despite its heavily trafficked location, and the adjacent location of Duncan Creek Park, including its skate park teeming with kids (read: non-drivers), there is no sidewalk, stoplight or crosswalk. The kids (and young adults) routinely walk or skate across the highway to the nearby convenience store. This is not safe behavior, but without a convenient option for crossing safely, residents argue, human nature and thirst will always take over.
It’s a complicated issue when a pedestrian is killed while crossing in a no-crossing zone. No-crossing zones exist for a reason, often because visibility is not good enough for drivers to avoid pedestrians safely. And of course, near highways, where drivers tend to speed up in anticipation of getting on the high road, the risk is even greater. It does seem like in this situation the city should do something more to protect its kids, but because a state highway is part of the intersection, it apparently is a state budgeting issue rather than a local one.
Nevertheless, although it is difficult to step up highway and road safety in the face of government bureaucracy, it is essential that we do so. At the same time, it is essential that we drive carefully at all times, especially near parks and other places where there are a lot of kids. Even a simple sign would contribute to safety in this situation, though streets adjacent to parks frequented by kids really should offer more to ensure a safe community for all.
Neither of the drivers I mention in this entry were charged with any crime, and perhaps they did not commit any. By and large, most drivers do not wish to become involved in accidents–hence the name, “accident.” Still, though, even the most well-intentioned of drivers can allow their attention to flag while on the road. Given the likelihood of fatality in car-pedestrian accidents, especially near parks, schools and other areas frequented by children, drivers need to always look out for pedestrians even when their local government does not.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed in a Gwinnett County pedestrian-vehicle collision, it’s crucial that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle, P.C., we have decades of experience handling Georgia pedestrian-car accidents, and will do everything we can to ensure that you are fully compensated for your losses. Please contact us for a free, confidential consultation at one of our Gwinnett County law offices in Decatur or Duluth, or one of our Atlanta law offices in Buckhead or the Perimeter, and let us help you get back on your feet and on with your life.