Statement on Lack of Charges in Traffic Fatalities

In response to the news that the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has declined to charge the driver in the crash that killed Amelie Le Moullac, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition issues the following the statement:

It is deeply troubling that the District Attorney’s Office has declined to charge the driver of a big rig truck who hit and killed 24-year-old Amelie Le Moullac while she was bicycling to work on a busy bike route.

Unfortunately, the lack of charges in this tragic case is par for the course in our justice system which continually fails to prosecute traffic cases as the crimes that they are. Four people were killed while biking in San Francisco last year, and no charges were filed against the drivers in any of these cases.

Where is the justice for Amelie Le Moullac, Cheng Jin Lai, Diana Sullivan or Dylan Mitchell — all killed by operators of large vehicles on poorly designed, fast-moving San Francisco streets? Where is the justice for the 21 pedestrians killed last year on our streets?

The Le Moullac case received significant attention because of the Police Department’s questionable handling of the incident, for which Police Chief Suhr later publicly apologized. Chief Suhr has since committed to improve investigations, attention to traffic safety and fair enforcement.

Since then, the SF Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office, the Mayor, the Board of Supervisors and other City leaders, have officially adopted Vision Zero, a goal to prioritize enforcement, education and engineering in order to reach zero traffic fatalities in the next 10 years.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, along with our Vision Zero allies, call on the City to show meaningful commitment to street safety by funding critical safety improvements in this year’s budget. We call on the Mayor and Board of Supervisors to commit to the following:

  • Fully fund the District Attorney’s requested, new Vehicular Manslaughter Unit
  • Fully fund a new Vision Zero staff position in the Mayor’s Office
  • Close the funding gap for the Department of Public Health’s data collection and analysis.
  • Dedicate at least $15 million to on-street improvements on the city’s high-injury corridors.

Tragedies like these are painful reminders of how far our city has to go to make our streets safe for everyone. It’s time for San Francisco City leaders to truly prioritize street safety and put real funding toward this critical issue. These tragic crashes are not accidents. With thoughtful engineering of our streets, data-driven enforcement of the most dangerous behaviors, meaningful education and thorough investigation and prosecution, we can reduce and eventually eliminate all traffic fatalities.

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