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Benicia Police Department
Wednesday July 14th, 2010 :: 10:24 a.m. PDT

Community

Benicia Police Conclude Injury Accident Investigation

The Benicia Police Department, with assistance from the California Highway Patrol, have concluded their investigation into the July 1st traffic collision that injured two teenagers at the intersection of Military West and West 2nd Street (original press release is below).

"Our investigation has determined that the driver of the van was at fault in the accident by driving at an unsafe speed for the conditions at the time", Benicia Police Lt. Mike Daley said. "Even though we believe he was not exceeding the posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour, the conditions at the time - which include the sun setting and affecting the drivers vision - required that he reduce his speed to the point where he could safely see if anyone was in the crosswalks."

Based on the results, the driver of the van (49 year old Bruce Ricketts of Benicia) will be issued a citation for unsafe speed and for failing to yield to the two pedestrians in the crosswalk, both infractions. The investigation and the citation will be sent to Traffic Division of the Solano County Superior Court to determine an arraignment date.

This accident also prompted a safety review of the intersection by the Public Works and Community Development Department. Director Charlie Knox, who examined the intersection, said "All traffic control devices where fully functional and installed in accordance with the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which establishes the national standard for traffic control devices such as crosswalks, crosswalk warning signs, and the like."

As part of the safety review, Benicia PD's Traffic Unit set up road data devices that collect the speed of vehicles traveling through the intersection of West Military at West 2nd Street. The devices were placed near the intersection on July 3rd. Initial findings show average speed of 21 miles per hour in this intersection and majority of vehicles travel under 25 miles per hour. The devices will be in place through July 15th.

Over the past two and a half years, there has only been one traffic accident at this intersection and it was not related to the crosswalk. Since 2000, there have been no accidents involving pedestrians at this intersection. In addition, at various times over the past few years the Benicia Police Department, in conjunction with the Engineering Division, have conducted pedestrian safety prevention programs and campaigns which have included pedestrian decoy operations for failure to yield violations.

Relative to any changes or modifications to the intersection, studies of the intersection shows it meets all current safety standards and does not meet the minimum requirements to add any additional traffic control devices. These studies have included a count of the number of vehicles traveling through the intersection and their speed, the amount of accidents over a certain period of time, along with reviewing the intersection and its current design relative to crosswalk markings and signage. Pedestrian safety continues to be a priority as both the Police Department and City's Engineering Division strive to educate both drivers and pedestrians alike as to their responsibility on the city's roadways.

Address/Location
Benicia Police Department
200 East L Street
Benicia, CA 94510

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-745-3411

Military W & W 2nd St
Benicia, CA 94510

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