City of Los Angeles Turns Attention Back to Hit-and-Run Epidemic

July 24, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Posted in Bike News | 6 Comments

The Public Safety Committee will hear the LAPD report on Friday, July 26th at 8:30 AM in City Hall Room 1010.  Please join LACBC in requesting that the City take a leadership role to fix state law to increase penalties for hit-and-run.  You can also write the committee members at councilmember.englander@lacity.org, councildistrict15@lacity.org, councilmember.bonin@lacity.org, and councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org.

Los Angeles’ high rate of hit-and-run collisions disproportionately affects bicyclists and pedestrians, the most vulnerable travelers on our city’s streets.  Many of us have friends left injured by fleeing drivers, or have been victims ourselves.  The Los Angeles Police Department, at the direction of Councilmember Joe Buscaino, produced a report with hard numbers confirming our perceptions: nearly 60% of those severely injured or killed by hit-and-run drivers are pedestrians and another 14% are bicyclists.

That is over 90 pedestrians and 20 bicyclists being severely injured or killed in the City of Los Angeles every year.  The number of bicyclists severely injured or killed spiked to 31 in 2011–almost 3 per month.

By any measure, this is an unacceptable crisis in public safety.  LACBC eagerly awaited the LAPD’s report detailing steps the department is taking to curtail the hit-and-run epidemic.  Unfortunately, the report made considerable effort to debunk the LA Weekly article and defend the City’s hit-and-run rate as comparable to other cities.  Deeper analysis reveals the opposite: Los Angeles continues to be among the worst cities, behind only Chicago in injury and fatal hit-and-runs per capita.  Angelenos have a greater than 1 in 1,000 chance of being injured or killed in a hit-and-run every year.

How does the LAPD come to a different conclusion?  Instead of calculating exposure to hit-and-run like any other crime stat (i.e. how likely is a person to be a victim), LAPD chose to compare hit-and-run rates per vehicle-mile traveled (VMT).  Because Angelenos are addicted to their cars and drive more per person than all other cities compared in the report, this dilutes our hit-and-run rate in the department’s analysis.  Cities with more pedestrians and bicyclists and less driving come out as more dangerous in the LAPD’s report, despite being considerably safer.  LAPD’s report calculates that New York is 56% more dangerous than Los Angeles.  In fact, Angelenos are 122% more likely to be the victim of an injury or fatal hit-and-run than New Yorkers.  The result is highly misleading and undermines the sense of urgency to fix the problem and make our streets safer.

Ranking by Per VMT Hit-and-Run

  1. Chicago
  2. New York
  3. Houston
  4. Los Angeles
  5. San Francisco
  6. Seattle

Ranking by Per Capita Hit-and-Run

  1. Chicago
  2. Los Angeles
  3. Houston
  4. Seattle
  5. New York
  6. San Francisco

Despite this flawed comparative analysis, LAPD does make strong recommendations to change department practices, improve data collection, and amend state law.  These proposals align closely with LACBC’s priorities and we look forward to working with LAPD and the City Council to push for state legislation to enhance hit-and-run penalties.

About these ads

6 Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. […] City Council Will Hear LAPD Hit and Run Report in Committee on Friday (LACBC Blog) […]

  2. […] a surprisingly hopeful event that’s super important to have cyclists representing at. See LACBC’s write up about the meeting & it’s […]

  3. […] And it’s a surprisingly hopeful event that’s super important to have cyclists representing. See LACBC’s write up about the meeting & it’s […]

  4. […] From the blog of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition: […]

  5. […] coverage, which paginates for dozens of incident reports and calls for action. Then, on Thursday LACBC posted an article describing that the LAPD would be presenting their report to the LA City Hall Public Safety […]

  6. Hi, all is going well here and ofcourse every
    one is sharing information, that’s actually excellent, keep up writing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com. | The Pool Theme.
Entries and comments feeds.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 48 other followers

%d bloggers like this: