In a continued effort to make San Francisco streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, Mayor Ed Lee announced Tuesday a new training program for drivers who operate large vehicles in The City.
The training program will require drivers of large vehicles contracted by The City to take a video-based course to bring awareness to the issues of driving a large vehicle on San Francisco streets, said Lee:
“We are requiring all of our truckers… city employees or in the private sector go through this training and make sure that the driver themselves understand how to go through a very congested urban setting and pay very close attention to the pedestrians, the bicyclists.”
The training program will also be offered to truckers from the California Truckers Association, said Lee.
The training program is part of the City’s Vision Zero strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities by 2024. The strategy also includes engineering projects implemented by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on streets with the most severe or fatal injuries and increased enforcement by the San Francisco Police Department who are focused on enforcing the top five violations cited in collisions.
Despite a low number of collisions of large vehicles with pedestrians and bicyclists, the collisions can have a fatal impact, said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin:
“In a five-year period, large vehicles represented only four percent of all collisions, but accounted for 17 percent of all bicycle and pedestrian deaths.”
In 2013, 24-year old resident Amelie Le Moullac was fatally struck by a delivery truck on Folsom Street near Sixth Street while riding her bike.
Supervisor Jane Kim, who represents the South of Market area, said all the economic activity is great for The City:
“… but an outcome of our positive economic activity shouldn’t be fatalities and severe injuries.”
Lee said Police Chief Greg Suhr informed him that there were no traffic fatalities last month and wants that trend to continue with the help of the new training program:
“As you’re turning corners, as you’re going down our corridors, as you’re coming out of construction sites and into them or you’re at the store delivering and picking up, each and every one of these situations has the ability to hurt someone and we want everyone to be that much more aware.”
Bay City News contributed information to this report.
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. He covers transportation and City Hall. He has spent over a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Jerold is a native in the city and frequently takes public transit everywhere he goes. Email tips to [email protected]