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Opinion

Readers React: ‘I didn’t see her’ isn’t a valid excuse for drivers who hit pedestrians

To the editor: I was struck by a driver in 2007 who stopped at the stop sign, looked at my husband and me as we proceeded into the crosswalk, and then looked down at his phone and slowly drove into me. I was lucky that the knee I fell on didn’t break and my husband banged on the hood of his car as it continued to roll forward with me on the ground. (“Study: Pedestrian deaths in California rose 7% in the first half of 2015,” March 8)

Of course, once the driver realized what he had done and with many witnesses shouting at him, he tossed his phone onto the passenger seat and got out of the car stating, “I didn’t see you!” Really?

When will people stop being injured and killed by motorists who, the police say, were “not under the influence of drugs or alcohol”? Does sobriety absolve drivers of all responsibility? How about being under the influence of their cellphones?

The driver who hit me was not cited or punished. Forget about cars that are safer for drivers or crosswalks that are more visible. Police need to enforce the law on cellphone use while driving.

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Diane Ohanian, San Diego

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To the editor: The article reports that 347 people on foot were struck and killed by cars in California during the first half of 2015. Most of these deaths could have been prevented.

Many pedestrians operate as if their safety is totally the responsibility of drivers. From childhood on, I have acted on the admonition to “look both ways before crossing.” I don’t depend on the authority of the stop sign or light. I step off the curb only when the cars are stationary.

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In my community, I watch throngs marching through the crosswalks zombie-like, with their eyes straight ahead. Only occasionally does one look toward me to ensure I have braked.

Pedestrians: For your own survival, assume that any vehicle moving toward you has your name on it.

William Vietinghoff, Thousand Oaks

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To the editor: I can’t count the number of people I have seen jaywalking, oblivious to the world around them as they are fixated on texting somebody. I recently saw a young woman crossing a very busy street while pushing a stroller and texting — unbelievable.

Abraham Hoffman, Canoga Park 

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