Los Angeles has been awarded the unfortunate distinction of being the city with the highest traffic fatality rate per capita in the United States. New York’s rating is more than half of the Los Angeles one. During the past three years alone, traffic-related deaths have steadily increased.
In 2015, 186 people died in crashes in Los Angeles. That number rose to 260 by 2016. As for this year, that number is projected to increase yet again.
California Department of Transportation (CalDOT) argues that there are a number of factors at play that contribute to the city’s high traffic-related death rate. Most notably there is drunk, distracted and drugged driving. They note that the increase in cars on the road has resulted in higher crash rates as well.
For an increase in over 50 percent from one year to the next though, they emphasize something more has to be at play. They’re determined that it must have to do with speed.
California’s High Injury Network has determined that the approach of CalDOT has always been to try to get motorist to places faster. In light of the discovery that speeding is to blame for many traffic crashes, state and city lawmakers have shifted their attention to getting speed limits reduced.
Since 2015, the CalDOT has been successful in reducing the speed across 80 miles of the Los Angeles’ city streets. They’ve also reprogrammed them to make them more visible. They’ve also extended curbs and added bike lanes to many of the city’s streets.
Studies have shown that removing at least one traffic lane and replacing it with heavy planters to separate motorists from bikers slows motorists down. It also protects bikers from unnecessary injuries.
Despite the promising results that have been seen along the 80 miles of roadway that’s already been converted, a lack of influx of money has slowed progress. Motorists, pedestrians and bikers will all continue to risk their lives until the project is implemented on a larger scale.
If you’ve been seriously injured after having been struck by a speeding motorist or because of some other type of driver negligence, then a Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney may be able to help in your case.
Source: Los Angeles Magazine, “Inside the audacious plan to eliminate traffic deaths in L.A.,” Susan Carpenter, Aug. 21, 2017