SFPD Corrects 2011 Pedestrian Fatality Count: 17 Killed, Not 13

Seventeen pedestrians were killed in San Francisco in 2011 — four more than previously reported by the SFPD.

Photo: Aaron Bialick

Although SFPD spokesperson Albie Esparza had previously given a count of 13 fatalities as late as last week, Officer Linda Chen of the Mission Station said she reviewed the data and found the actual number to be 17. Three bicyclists and eight car drivers or passengers were also killed last year, she said, for a total of 28 traffic deaths.

The reason for the discrepancy is unclear, but Esparza said the original number of 13 came from the department’s Hit-and-Run Unit. SFPD has been using the figure of 13 pedestrian fatalities since December.

It’s troubling that SFPD would report such basic information erroneously and let the mistake stand for so long, and it speaks to a broader issue: Local government provides little access to data about traffic injuries and deaths on SF streets. Streetsblog will be taking a look at this issue in greater depth. Stay tuned.

  • mikesonn

    Stay on them Aaron!

  • Anonymous

    How many of these fatalities were the fault of a car driver? How many convictions?

  • Anonymous

    I think the prevailing attitude is “clear the bodies off the road, get traffic moving again, mission accomplished”.  Whether the casualties survive or not, a resolution which could take days, isn’t terribly relevant.  Deaths on the roads are considered by most to be an accepted cost of doing business. 

  • Anonymous

    I think Streetsblog could provide a useful service by maintaining a page of all fatalities and serious injuries, along with links to articles, followups and so on in each case. I sometimes wonder about some incident I read about six months ago– what was the result? Was there any penalty? It’s hard to find followup articles.

  • • Isn’t it great that the #SFPD suddenly cares about ped fatalities?  So unlike the previous 20+ years when no bicyclists were involved in any of them.

  • mikesonn

    Because there usually aren’t any follow-up articles.

  • Anonymous

    I think each place a ped or bicyclist dies should be suitably memorialzed.  Like the white crosses by the side of the road in Montana where there has been a fatality. 

  • Clutch J

    FWIW, 17 ped deaths is about twice as many as occur in Amsterdam in a typical year.

  • Anonymous

    @baklazhan:disqus I agree, and I’ve mentioned this before too. It would be a great reference. We apparently can’t rely on the police or anybody else to do it ….

  • ubringliten

    Cars injured 3 daily and one died every other day is such a shame.

  • ubringliten

     Correction:  1.4 people died every month not every other day.

  • The Washington Post

    “Streetsblog will be taking a look at this issue in greater depth” Hey Woodstein…you’re not a journalist. You’re just a guy with a computer.