Pedestrian collisions mounting at CSUN

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. Two were killed, including a 60-year-old woman who was hit by a pickup on Zelzah Ave. Monday.

/*California State University-Northridge*/ Police say within the last six months more than half a dozen pedestrians have been hit at intersections near the campus. Two were killed. One of those killed people was killed Monday. A 60-year-old woman was killed when she walked into a crosswalk off-campus and was hit by a car at Lassen St. and Zelzah Ave.

In December, 33-year-old Olivia Almalel suffered spinal injuries after being plowed down by a car that struck her from behind near the CSUN campus.

Campus police says it all comes down to both pedestrians and drivers paying attention and they say that doesn't happen as often as it should.

"And here's a good example is a student -- see -- she never looks across, she's got a cell phone in her ear," said Capt. Alfredo Fernandez, CSUN Campus Police. "This is typical of what we see going on here. Our officers are constantly enforcing these kind of violations on the campus."

Campus police say with a student population of at least 30,000 or more, intersections surrounding the campus are congested and dangerous. Parents agree.

"As you can see, they just speed through the crosswalks whether you're aware of the lights going off or not," said parent Sandra Ramirez. "The kids cross here in the afternoon. It's even more dangerous in the afternoon."

"It can be kind of dangerous crossing back and forth," said student Ezequiel Andrande. "You've got to watch out for traffic and make sure that it's your time to cross."

Police say even the 54-square-mile area of the /*San Fernando Valley*/ surrounding CSUN known as the Devonshire area is so densely populated it's dangerous. In 2007, there were nearly 90 crashes between cars and pedestrians, a 21-percent increase in two years.

Authorities are handing out flyers with safety tips on campus. It encourages drivers to obey speed limits and stop signs, do not use cell phones while driving -– that's the law. For pedestrians: Don't walk across intersections while on the phone and certainly don't take off skateboarding.



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