DA’s Office Declines To File Charges Against At-Fault Driver Who Struck And Killed Folsom Street Cyclist

Sasha Lekach : BayCityNews – excerpt

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has declined to file charges in the death last August of a 24-year-old bike commuter in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood.

Amelie Le Moullac, who lived in San Francisco and worked at the San Francisco office of the marketing firm Voce Communications, was killed during her morning commute on Aug. 14 when a truck made a right turn and struck her at Sixth and Folsom streets.

The driver was not initially cited, but was later found to be at fault after a San Francisco Bicycle Coalition member found surveillance video of the crash and turned that over to investigators.

About a month ago, prosecutors told Le Moullac’s family that the district attorney’s office was unable to charge the driver, district attorney’s spokesman Alex Bastian said this morning.

After the incident, the Police Department was criticized for how it handled the investigation and for the apparent derisive remarks aimed toward bicyclists that a police sergeant said at a memorial event a week after Le Moullac died.

San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr apologized on behalf of the sergeant in the weeks after the fatal crash and said the incident would be reviewed by the city’s Office of Citizen Complaints, which handles reports of police misconduct.

In January, Suhr made another public apology at a City Hall hearing about how the case was handled.

At the time, he said investigators were working to obtain an arrest warrant for the driver.

Le Moullac’s family filed a wrongful death suit in San Francisco Superior Court last September against Milpitas-based Daylight Foods, the produce company using the truck, and the driver, Gilberto Alcantar.

According to court records, the case is slated to go to trial later this year.

(more)

The SF Chronicle Asks SFMTA Spokesmodel Paul Rose for Pedestrian Law Advice and He Gets It 100% Wrong: Countdown Timers

sfcitizen – excerpt

Here we go:

Is a pedestrian supposed to stop as soon as the numbers start to flash? Can the walker proceed throughout the countdown? Or, as one letter writer seemed to think, is the countdown really for the benefit of drivers? We asked Paul Rose, spokesman for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, for the answer.

“It’s an awareness tool to let pedestrians know how much time they have to cross the street,” he said. “All pedestrians are strongly encouraged to make responsible decisions on when they should or shouldn’t cross.” But can a pedestrian get ticketed – ha! – for starting to walk when the countdown is near zero? Nope. “They can start whenever they want,” Rose said.”

Now here’s what a countdown timer looks like, in the City and County:

Note that San Francisco peds see an “approved upraised hand symbol” right next to the countdown timer.

Now here’s Da Law:

“Flashing or steady “DON’T WALK” or “WAIT” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol: No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed crossing shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone or otherwise leave the roadway while the “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol is showing.”

Oh, here’s another stab at this subject:

According to California Vehicle Code 21456, pedestrians can’t walk if there’s a “Don’t Walk” sign or an upraised hand symbol. Anyone who has started crossing after one of those flashes should proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone.

And this appears to be a common ticket handed out to peds near the LA County Courthouse.

And here’s another reference

“V C Section 21456 Walk Wait or Don’ t Walk

Walk, Wait, or Don’t Walk

21456.  Whenever a pedestrian control signal showing the words “WALK” or “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or other approved symbol is in place, the signal shall indicate as follows:

(a) “WALK” or approved “Walking Person” symbol. A pedestrian facing the signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown.

(b) Flashing or steady “DON’T WALK” or “WAIT” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol. No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed crossing shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone or otherwise leave the roadway while the “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol is showing.

Amended Ch. 413, StaEts. 1981. ffective January 1, 1982″… (more)