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Use Extreme Caution When Passing Trolleys, Streetcars and Busses


California Motor Vehicle Code 21756 requires drivers to stop behind a trolley when it is loading or unloading passengers and only pass when it is safe to do so. If you are able to pass then you are not allowed to drive faster than 10 mph until you are safely in front of the trolley.

Every year, people are killed in southern California accidents involving Trolleys. Last year four people were killed by San Diego trolley accidents. Most of these tragic accidents could have been avoided if the drivers of the trolleys and the cars had been following the law.

In February of 2010, two people were injured on a trolley in San Diego when a postal worker crashed his van into the side of the trolley they were riding. With so many people relying on public transportation, it is vital that drivers maintain a safe distance from trolleys and busses.

Streetcars run with the flow of traffic, so even if you can’t pass them safely, you will eventually get where you are going. If you know there are streetcars that travel on your route, you may want to leave earlier to allow time for traffic tie-ups.

Because streetcars run in the flow of traffic, there is often great concern about how a streetcar can safely interact with pedestrians and automobiles. Streetcars operate much like buses because they travel at or below the speed of cars, are roughly the same size of currently active buses, and must obey very specific traffic laws.

Here are a few basic things to remember when sharing the roads with trolleys and streetcars:

  • Always be alert. Trolley tracks often run in the middle of the road, so look for passengers and other vehicles on all sides.
  • Look at signs. Be alert to all posted signs that issue warnings and signal stopping.
  • Yield to pedestrians. Pedestrians and trolleys usually have the right of way. Be courteous and observant when following a trolley or streetcar.

The personal injury lawyers at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys have years of experience getting accident victims the compensation they deserve. If you have been injured in a streetcar or trolley accident, you have rights that can protect you. Under California law, you may be entitled to recover actual damages, economic damages from lost wages, and emotional pain and suffering damages.

To find out more about California Laws please visit California Motor Vehicle Codes.

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