Monica Galvan, a former student, started an online petition for a turn signal to be placed on Nordhoff between Alabama Ave. and Canoga Ave., where her father was killed during a collision with a bus.
Manuel Galvan, 54, was driving home from the gym when a bus hit him after making a left turn. The collision caused him to hit a light pole, throwing him off his motorcycle. The motorcycle overheated shortly after, and a nearby pedestrian pulled him away before it caught on fire.
Monica Galvan started an online petition on thepetitionsite.com in early August of this year. Her goal was to reach 10,000 signatures, but she has now reached more than 12,500, surpassing her goal.
“Once I started to take notice after the accident exactly how the cars were driving, there would be nights that I would be so sad and I would come and sit and watch the cars pass,” Monica Galvan said. “I started to see that there was just no rules. There were rules in place but nobody was enforcing them.”
Monica Galvan did not believe that this would ever happen to her or her family. Her determination to raise awareness, and to prevent this from occurring to anyone else, gave her the idea to start a petition for a turn signal to be placed at the location of her father’s death.
“I thought what everybody else thought. ‘You’re invincible and this wouldn’t happen,’ but it did,” Monica Galvan said. “If there’s any way to erase imminent danger, I will do that.”
Monica Galvan was not home the night of her father’s accident. However, her mom and brother had been watching the news that night, and saw the accident on TV.
They had not realized it was their father until they noticed he had not arrived home at the time he usually did.
“I am very proud of her strength and determination to see a change, and I hope that no one goes through the pain that we have experienced,” Monica Galvan’s mother, Amelia Galvan, said.
To spread awareness, Monica Galvan began reaching out to friends and family members to help her with the petition.
She began by visiting local areas her father used to frequent.
“I saw a group of bikers and I would ask them if I can get a moment of their time and they were super friendly. The guy heard me out and he contacted his buddies,” Monica Galvan said. “The bike place where my dad bought his bike, they all remembered him. At work, at the gym, everyone loved him, so they were able to spread the word on social media.”
Determined to reach her goal, Monica Galvan contacted Kacie Montoya, a reporter for KTLA5 News who helped her spread the word about the petition.
Montoya reached out to her producers who agreed to help Monica Galvan. They filmed her story and aired it later that night, as well as a few times over the weekend.
Airing her story on national television jolted up the signatures almost immediately after.
Monica Galvan’s mission was also on the KTLA news website to raise further awareness, along with a link to where people can find her petition.
Brother of Galvan, Manuel Galvan Jr, expressed his thoughts and concerns of the cause.
“This petition has already shown how many people support the idea of it, and understand its importance. That intersection is dangerous as it is being so poorly lit, let alone the fact that it has no signal,” he said. “The purpose of this petition is to have a signal installed at that intersection so that another family doesn’t have to suffer the loss we have.”
Monica Galvan’s brother added, “Our Father was an amazing man that was ripped from our lives. This could have been avoidable with an implementation of a traffic signal.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as of 2013 there were 4.668 motorcyclists who were killed in traffic crashes. Only 6 percent less than the year before that. Following that, 88,000 motorcyclist were reported with injuries.
“My dad was very loud and vibrant,” Monica Galvan said. “My family is proud that I took this up.”