Making Our Streets Safer - Addressing Hit & Runs
All to often, we hear about a person biking or walking in Los Angeles who has been injured or worse, killed by a car that fled the scene of the crash. Hit-and-runs make up roughly a 1/3 of all traffic collisions in Los Angeles and affect all Angelenos no matter what mode of transportation we use. In 2011 alone, there were over 18,800 hit-and-run collisions in the city. Five hundred and fourteen involved a person riding a bicycle, and another 759 involved pedestrians; over 12,880 involved another motor vehicle. Hit-and-run collisions resulted in the deaths of 36 Angelenos in 2011; 72% of those were people who were walking or riding their bicycles on the streets of Los Angeles at the moment they were hit. Hit-and-runs destroy peoples' lives and property. Currently the LAPD does not know how many of those 18,800+ hit-and-run collisions were solved or how many were prosecuted. (all statistics from LAPD)
We are working with others in the bicycle community, most notably Don "Roadblock" Ward and partner organizations like Los Angeles Walks, to call attention to this issue. And we want to work with you to share your stories with LAPD leadership and city leadership. We've created a form to collect your hit and run experience and how it was handled.
Help us make sure LAPD and the City of Los Angeles respond to and fully investigate all cases where a person walking or bicycling is hit no matter the type or severity of injury, collect data and report on the number of investigations leading to the identification of a driver and the number of cases that lead to legal action, and introduce legislation in Sacramento that will strengthen penalties for people caught committing a hit-and-run. We'll help keep you posted about upcoming Police Commission, City Council, and other meetings where you can share your experience. Together we can help curb the hit-and-run epidemic in the City of Los Angeles.