CA Legislature Memorializes SF Student Hit by Drunk Driver

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – The California State Legislature unanimously passed a resolution authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, to honor the memory of Hanren Chang with a commemorative plaque on Sloat Boulevard, in San Francisco, near where she was hit and killed by a drunk driver while crossing the street on her seventeenth birthday last year.

"Losing Hanren was a wakeup call," said Ting. "We must do more to improve pedestrian safety and I salute the Chang family for its courageous leadership to ensure that we act. Today's vote builds our momentum for change and enables our community to commemorate Hanren's life with a meaningful memorial."

Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 117 passed the State Assembly today, following passage from the State Senate on June 26th.  It authorizes a memorial plaque on Sloat Boulevard for Hanren Chang to commemorate new pedestrian safety improvements that have since been made to the area where the accident occurred – specifically the newly erected High-intensity Activated crossWalK (HAWK) beacon at the Sloat Boulevard and Forest View Drive intersection.  At the time of the accident, the street did not have stoplights or a stop sign.  A number of pedestrian safety features have subsequently been installed.  The resolution was needed because Sloat Boulevard is a state highway – State Route 35.  The plaque will be financed privately.

"Hanren has been a selfless girl cheerleading our families and everyone around her since she was born,” said Hanren’s parents, Dr. Wenhan Chang and Dr. Chia-Ling Tu.  “Her passing has devastated all of us.  This memorial traffic beacon has brought us comfort by reminding us that Hanren's sacrifice has made a safer street-crossing for her fellow schoolmates and all pedestrians nearby.  Like this traffic beacon, Hanren's angelic spirit will continue to watch over all of us, including Mr. Kieren Brewer who is also recovering from this tragic event.  My family wants to thank Supervisor Tang, Assemblymember Ting, and their staff as well as the SF City and California State traffic authorities for their care of pedestrian safety and for expediting the construction of this traffic beacon."

“Hanren Chang was taken from us too soon, but out of this tragedy, local and state representatives and agencies have come together to make improvements to enhance safety along Sloat Boulevard,” said San Francisco Supervisor Katy Tang, who represents the Sunset District.  “The Hanren Chang HAWK Beacon will serve as a reminder to pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists to use caution when using our streets.  It has been an honor to work with the Chang family to promote better safety and awareness in Hanren’s memory, and I thank state representatives for recognizing and supporting this effort.”

A HAWK beacon is a traffic signal used to stop road traffic and allow pedestrians to cross safely.  Unlike an ordinary traffic signal, the HAWK beacon only lights up when activated by a pedestrian who wishes to cross.

Additional information about ACR 117 is available at www.leginfo.ca.gov.

CONTACT: Anthony Matthews, tel. (916) 319-2019, anthony.matthews@asm.ca.gov