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How some say a new tax, road improvements could prevent fatal crashes in Sacramento

Traffic safety advocates push for new changes to avoid fatal crashes in Sacramento
Traffic safety advocates push for new changes to avoid fatal crashes in Sacramento 02:09

SACRAMENTO — Traffic safety advocates gathered Wednesday at the spot where an elderly man was killed while riding his bike last week in Sacramento.

A memorial of flowers and candles now sits at the north Natomas site where 84-year-old Sau Voong died. The grandfather was out on his morning bike ride along Club Center Drive when he was struck by a car.

"This is a person who lost their life while in a crosswalk," Sacramento City Councilmember Eric Guerra said.

Voong was one of three people killed by vehicles on Sacramento streets in just a 24-hour period.

"This is not new to Sacramento," Councilmember Lisa Kaplan said. "It's a tragedy that happens weekly."

Sacramento was recently ranked the 20th most dangerous city in the nation for traffic safety.

So far this year, more than 60 people have died in Sacramento County due to vehicle collisions.

"We have seen year over year increases in injury and deaths to pedestrians and cyclists in this city," said Isaac Gonzalez, founder of Slow Down Sacramento.

So why are traffic deaths on the rise?

"Vehicles are bigger. Vehicles can go faster. People are more distracted," Gonzalez said. "So all those things have made a perfect combination for more injuries and deaths."

Kaplan said it is time city leaders do something about it. She added that Voong's death might have been prevented if the roadway had been redesigned.

"It is better suited for it to be a roundabout instead of a 4-way stop because you will watch people roll through this stop sign all the time," Kaplan said.

She is among those now calling for more money to be spent on traffic safety improvements, including a new tax to pay for things like dedicated bike lanes and roundabouts.

"We need to start talking to our voters and potentially going out to the ballot in 2026 to raise enough money to implement everything we know makes our streets safer," Kaplan said.

Sacramento police say they will soon be adding a new team of motorcycle officers to try and increase enforcement of traffic violations.

No charges have been filed against the driver who hit Voong.

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