Pedestrian struck and killed in Atascadero

March 2, 2024


A vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Atascadero on Friday evening.

Shortly before 8:30 p.m., the vehicle hit a man on El Camino Real near the intersection with San Gabriel Road. Police officers and firefighters arrived at the scene and found the pedestrian had succumbed to his injuries, according to the Atascadero Police Department.

Authorities closed El Camino Real in the area of the fatal collision for nearly two hours while the police department’s traffic investigator and patrol officers photographed and processed the scene. Investigators have ruled out alcohol as factor in the collision.

The investigation remains ongoing, with officers analyzing factors such as vehicle speed, weather and road conditions and pedestrian right-of-way. Officers will work to gather and review evidence, interview witnesses and reconstruct the events leading up to the collision, police say.

Police are withholding the identity of the victim as officials notify the man’s relatives of his death. Anyone who has information about the collision can contact the Atascadero Police Department at (805) 461-5051.

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I believe there is a visually enhanced pedestrian crosswalk just about 40 yards north of San Gabriel where El Bordo Avenue meets El Camino Real. There are bold pavement stripes, signage indicating a pedestrian crossing and some flashing lights. Vehicle speeds can get quite high in this long straightaway but drivers who frequently travel this area know to exercise caution and to watch for pedestrians. It will be interesting to learn if the victim was using the designated crosswalk or was crossing elsewhere.

It would be beneficial to public safety if police departments, schools, and scouting groups embraced an outreach safety program that encourages kids and their families to adopt the practice of always shining a small flashlight when crossing busy streets at night. The purpose of a flashlight is not so much to help see in the dark as it is to help illuminate the pedestrian so he/she can be seen by motorists as the moving beam of light shines on the persons upper body, legs, shoes and ground around them. This should be a common practice and second nature for us. Most folks carry cellphones with them, maximize your visibility to drivers by using your phone’s flashlight feature when crossing the road at night.

The fallacy with your idea is that peds tend to shine their flashlight right in the eyes of drivers.

What good does that do since it is likely illegal?

I’d bet the ped had dark clothing on, and/or was jaywalking.

I never suggested pedestrians do that, although it would likely cause no disabling glare or safety issue if a low lumen light was inadvertently directed towards a driver for a fraction of a second. Think about it. The beam from a small flashlight or cell phone directed for an instant at an oncoming driver is insignificant in light output compared to the onslaught of brilliant headlights from cars/trucks/motorcycles that drivers constantly cope with at night. Part of a pedestrian safety outreach program for kids & adults would include awareness of pedestrian related laws and the admonishment to not shine their light at drivers. The (bright) idea is to use a pedestrian light to dazzle and illuminate themselves and the ground around them as they walk so as to maximize their visibility to drivers.