The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition launched a real-time pedestrian and bicyclist accident tracker on Twitter to address the public health crisis that roads create in San Diego.
With the support of Eric Dasmalchi, the Los Angeles mobility advocacy organization Streets for All, and Citizen App, the San Diego Bicycle Coalition launched a Twitter account, @SDCrashBot, that will automatically report the details of every pedestrian and bicyclist-involved crash in San Diego in real-time.
The real-time tracking program relies upon data from the Citizen App, an application that monitors police scanners and reports on incidents in real-time, to tweet out the rough details and locations of crashes as soon as they occur.
“While this methodology won’t catch the many crashes in which police aren’t called at all, it dramatically increases our knowledge of crashes happening daily and allows us to understand how many crashes occur in which no one is hurt,” the San Diego Bicycle Coalition wrote in a statement.
According to the University of California, Berkley Transportation Injury Mapping System, there was an average of 242 people walking, and 80 people riding back from 2016 to 2020.
In 2015, the City of San Diego adopted “Vision Zero”, which is a commitment to reach zero traffic fatalities by 2025. The most recent report was released on 2020.
“The speed at which our roads are being upgraded for safety has not matched the urgency of over 300 people being killed or maimed each year,” the San Diego Bicycle Coalition wrote in a statement.
According to the San Diego Bicycle Coalition, one problem for advocates in communicating the urgency of road safety improvements has been the inability to match the emotional potency of recent crashes with up-to-date data. The state’s main crash-tracking program, Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), and mapping program, Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS), don’t report definitive crash statistics until almost two years after the fact.
“That delay prevents us from linking high-profile, fatal crashes with the many other lower-profile crashes that invariably occur at the same location. Furthermore, SWITRS and TIMS only publish data on crashes for which a complaint of pain was reported, obscuring the many crashes in which serious injury was narrowly avoided,” the statement read.