PRESS RELEASE: Circulate San Diego calls on local media to use “Crash” not “Accident” when covering today’s tragic deaths and injuries near City College

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Media Contact:
Colin Parent, Executive Director and General Counsel
(619) 567-6856 | [email protected]

Press Release: Circulate San Diego calls on local media to use “Crash” not “Accident” when covering today’s tragic deaths and injuries near City College

SAN DIEGO (March 15, 2021) – Circulate San Diego is calling on local media organizations to use neutral terms like “crash” or “collision” when covering the tragic deaths and injuries that occurred today near City College. The term “accident” should be avoided because it implies that today’s tragedy could not have been avoided, which is clearly not the case.

Three people were killed and six more were injured in a traffic crash near San Diego City College on March 15, 2021. At around 9:00 a.m., a vehicle swerved onto the sidewalk and crashed into a homeless encampment where several people were seeking shelter from the rain. Three people died at the scene and six more were injured, two of whom were critically injured. The driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, vehicular manslaughter, and infliction of great bodily injury while committing a felony.

Circulate San Diego currently leads Crash Not Accident and Vision Zero campaigns, which are both efforts to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on San Diego streets.  “Crash” is a more accurate and neutral term than “accident,” because “accident” can imply that a death or injury could not have been prevented. The media should be especially careful not to refer to today’s tragedy as an “accident” given that the driver is suspected of driving under the influence, which is an entirely preventable action.

"No loss of life is acceptable on San Diego’s streets, and today’s crash is especially tragic affecting vulnerable people living on our streets," said Colin Parent, Executive Director and General Counsel for Circulate San Diego. “We are calling on the local media to use neutral terms like “crash” and not “accident” in their coverage, because these deaths were preventable.”

As a part of our Crash not Accident campaign, Circulate will be displaying the attached placard at the location of the crash.

In partnership with the California Office of Traffic Safety, Crash Not Accident educates San Diegans about our role in preventing traffic deaths and serious injuries by acknowledging that crashes are not merely “accidents,” but are the result of human decisions and systemic decisions. For more information, visit http://www.circulatesd.org/crashnotaccident

Vision Zero is an international movement to end traffic deaths and serious injuries through careful driving, safe street design, and other safety principles. The City of San Diego committed to Vision Zero and ending all traffic fatalities within 10 years, beginning in 2015. For more information, visit http://www.circulatesd.org/visionzero.

Traffic crashes are preventable. We can all do more to save lives so that San Diegans can walk, bike, roll, or drive without risking life or limb.


About Circulate San Diego
Circulate San Diego is a regional nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing mobility and making the region a better place to move, work, learn and play. We lead a coalition of more than 25 local organizations to support Vision Zero throughout the San Diego region.  For more information, visit www.circulatesd.org. 

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  • Jesse O'Sullivan
    published this page in Press Room 2021-03-15 16:24:36 -0700

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