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Oceanside is a sunny coastal city located in Southern California, north of San Diego. The city's many residents enjoy the nice weather, but must be aware of the variety of fatal car accident risks that arise on the roads everyday.
Car accidents involving drunk-driving, hit-and-run, and high speeds are a problem all over California, and Oceanside seems to be no exception to the rule. Speeding is a large issue, particularly on highway 78 in Oceanside and, surprisingly, in front of many schools. One student, aged 13, has already died in a high-speed traffic incident involving a bicycle in 2004.
Madison Middle School, located on Lake Boulevard, sees cars traveling over 40mph most of the time, when California State law establishes the speed limit in schools zones during school traffic hours to be 25mph. Not only are tickets for breaking this law quite expensive, at least $322 for going 45mph in a 25mph zone, but it puts students and pedestrians at high risk for personal injury.
Madison is not the only school with this problem. Ocean High School and Mission Elementary School, both on busy Mission Avenue, also have far too many cars speeding in the school zone. According to Oceanside Traffic sergeant, this stretch is one of the city's busiest corridors with at least 23,000 car commuters and many pedestrians, daily.
Any Oceanside car accident attorney can tell you how important it is to keep school zones safe, and luckily, the local law enforcement and city officials agree. In 2008, officers wrote 69 tickets in the area for speeding and have made it common to dispatch motorcycle officers to school zones during peak traffic hours. Since having police in plain view, many drivers have slowed down, but many are concerned that speeds pick up again after officers leave.
The schools are working with the city and hope to receive grant money to put up more prominent speed limit signs as well as signs that tell each driver how fast they are going.
Highway 78 and Interstate 5 can be very congested during certain times of day and accidents involving irrational or irresponsible drivers happen far too often. A man driving a pickup truck on Highway 78 has been accused of veering quickly off the road, causing his passenger, a 22-year-old woman who was not wearing her seatbelt, to be ejected from the vehicle.
At high speed, the man attempted to exit onto El Camino Real when the truck began to roll. The woman died at the scene and the driver suffered moderate injuries. When the police responded to the accident, the driver was irrational and attempted to hit an officer, but was subdued with a Taser. Evidence has been brought against the driver and he will stand trial against charges for gross vehicular manslaughter.
Though it's possible that this driver may have an auto defect liability claim because the truck rolled unexpectedly, it seems that the driver committed road rage and unsafe driving that led to the accident. This driver also has a drunken driving conviction from 2005.
Another unfortunate car accident took place with a surprising cause: a veteran Oceanside police officer was driving under the influence. The 15-year employee of the Oceanside Police Department was off-duty and driving northbound on I-5 with a 40-year-old male passenger, when he lost control of his personal vehicle. The truck rolled and both the driver and passenger were taken to the hospital for injuries.
The exact blood alcohol content was not released, but according to a California Highway Patrol spokesman, it was over .08. According to state law, drunken-driving can be a felony if another person is injured, and this police officer will have to stand trial.
It is unfortunate news to hear that those who are supposed to help uphold the law and keep residents safe also break the law and endanger lives.
If you or someone you know have been injured in a car accident where someone else may be at fault, you should contact a good Oceanside car accident law firm to learn about your options.