Last year was the first year that the Los Angeles mayor’s Vision Zero campaign was in effect. The goal of the campaign is to reduce fatal traffic accidents. Unfortunately, the program has not had the success the mayor and other city leaders had hoped for.
There 260 people who lost their lives in traffic accidents last year — an increase of an astonishing 43 percent over 2015. It doesn’t appear that the problem is getting any better, either. When the same period last year is compared to this year, the traffic death numbers rose 22 percent. The increase for Los Angeles is higher than the national trend, too. According tot he National Safety Council (NSC), traffic deaths involving cars increased by 6 percent.
Vision Zero programs across the country haven’t all seen increases, though. For example, New York City has had a decrease in traffic death for the last three years.
One of the reasons for the increase, according to the general manager of the L.A. Transportation Department, is that there are more vehicles on the city’s roadways. Car registrations and car sales have increased, due to low gas prices and a strong economy. The general manager also said that an increase in distracted driving has also led to more fatal crashes. The police department is also not issuing as many speeding tickets as it has in the past, either. This is due to a state law that prevents police offices from using radar to identify speeders unless there has been a new traffic study in the area. Speeding tickets have dropped from 100,000 tickets in 2010 to around 17,000 in 2015.
One trend that is very concerning is the number of pedestrian deaths. Through the middle of March this year, the number of fatal auto v. pedestrian crashes has increased 58 percent over the same period last year. Almost half of the fatalities in traffic crashes are pedestrians; however, they are only involved in about 14 percent of the total crash numbers. That is according to analysis the city did of 2009 to 2013 data.
For those have lost a loved one due to the actions of another driver, it is possible to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. An experienced attorney can provide more information on your legal options.
Source: latimes.com, “The number of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers killed in L.A. traffic rose sharply in 2016,” Laura J. Nelson and Dakota Smith, April 03, 2017