Car vs. unsuspecting high schooler


Stop sign next to Burlingame High School.

Taran Sun, Staff Writer

A 17-year-old high school girl was hit by a car in a Foster City crosswalk on Jan. 24.

The girl, whose name has not been released, was on her way to high school when she was hit. Many people argued for a stop sign to be put up at the location of the accident, but due to the possibility of city liability, the Foster City Council voted to put up a flashing light on the next block rather than to install a four-way stop sign at the intersection at which the girl was hit.

Some Carlmont students suggest that the City Council should give more consideration to this issue.

Freshman Daniel Wehara said, “They should definitely put a stop sign at the intersection she got hit at. It’s obviously dangerous if she was hit, and a stop sign could help make it so other people [crossing] are safe.”

Wehara had additional suggestions regarding the flashing lights. He said, “If the new flashing lights were a warning system at the crosswalk where she got hit, instead of a different crosswalk, they would be good.”

This incident brings up the issue of traffic safety around high schools in general, where student drivers eager to get home are a hazard to pedestrians. Carlmont High School is no exception.

The systems of stop signs that have been implemented around Carlmont are designed to make the high school as safe as possible, but no system is foolproof. Pedestrians around Carlmont have to be careful so they can avoid situations like the one of the high school girl from Foster City.

Sophomore Lucas Coley said, “I feel safe when I’m on campus, there is a lot of foot traffic so people generally yield to pedestrians. It’s the people who are leaving campus, like going on San Carlos Avenue and Alameda De Las Pulgas that start to drive quickly because they are in a hurry to get places and to get home.”

Coley said, “I was with my sister and she was pulling onto Alameda and someone in a hurry rear-ended her. If we had been pedestrians, our damaged car would have been us.”

Sophomore Jason Burger always tries to be careful when it comes to crossing roads. Burger said, “I always try to be safe when I’m walking around Carlmont, I do the usual ‘look both ways’ thing, but that won’t keep me safe all the time if there are unsafe drivers around. That might have been what happened to the girl.”

Many people blame the driver of the car for the accident, but an equally likely possibility was that the pedestrian wasn’t paying close enough attention to her surroundings.

Coley said, “Kids often just cross at intersections [not paying attention] expecting cars to stop, and they don’t always do. That’s how people can get hit, and sometimes die.”

Crossing the road can lead to serious life changing injuries and death due to impatience and carelessness. Pedestrians and drivers alike have to have to make the correct decisions, and put their own safety and the safety of the people around them before getting to their destination on time.