News Article
After a Devastating Loss, a Berkeley Family Launches a Campaign For Pedestrian Awareness and Safety

This past February 27th, 2018, nine years to the day that 5 year old, Zachary Cruz died after being hit by a motorist in a crosswalk in Berkeley, his father, family and supporters called on people everywhere to "drive like your kid died here."

"Drive like your kids live here." We've all seen these signs. Yet, texting and driving, cell phone use and other distractions continue to cause these crashes. Speed, rolling stops and aggressive driving continue to claim lives. 

The results can be tragic for pedestrians, bicyclists, and the families left behind to pick up the pieces after a fatality or serious injury. 

So, Zachary Cruz's family have re-imagined this sign for a greater impact: DRIVE LIKE YOUR KID DIED HERE. Because Theirs Did. 

Zachary was 5 years old when he was hit and killed in the crosswalk at the intersection of Warring and Derby in Berkeley. 

His father says getting out of bed on the anniversary of his son's death is very difficult every year, but having a purpose this year has helped immensely. He and his family decided to turn into demonstrators this year -- and they now think they will do it every year. 

They held signs with Zachary's picture and the slogan, "Drive like your son died here. Ours did." Their activism isn't ending on the street corner. They also launched a website to bring awareness to safe driving. Plans also include approaching the Berkeley City Council to implement Vision Zero -- a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities in the span of 10 years. 

Berkeley police are also marking the anniversary. In Zachary's honor, the traffic enforcement division assigned officers to patrol the intersection on that Tuesday from 7am-noon. They pulled over a number of drivers for rolling through the stop sign instead of coming to a complete stop. Berkeley police say they average one injury accident every day. 

Next time you're out driving, think of Zachary's family and all those with this unfortunate message to convey, DRIVE LIKE YOUR LOVED ONE DIED HERE... OURS DID. Your driving habits could help save lives. 

Author: Dayna