Cars Hitting Pedestrians: L.A. County’s Silent Crisis

Stories of big accidents were big news in Los Angeles the past several days. Gold Line and Metrolink trains "went boom" before the weekend started. Over the weekend, a mid-air collision between two small planes killed several people, including one on the ground. This morning, a big-rig flipped on the 101.
But what’s just as terrible are the hundreds of deaths every year that don’t go reported in the traditional media. Based on recent trends, around 225 cyclists or pedestrians die on LA’s roads as a result of an accident with a car/truck/bus/train. However, none of these stories seem to ever get reported unless the accident has a spectacular collision of some sort. If you do a basic search at news.google.com for "pedestrian accidents ‘los angeles" you can’t find any stories of a pedestrian getting killed by a vehicle in Los Angeles County. A similar search for New York City finds several fatal accident stories on just the first page.
Without frequent stories to go along with the statistics, the reality of the carnage that occurs on our roads and highways begins to fade in people’s minds. When Street Heat ran a story on how LADOT and SCAG’s goal of reducing bike/ped fatalities wasn’t being met, the only comment I received was basically saying I was being too hard on our government agencies. However, it there were frequent stories on the frequent and needless collisions between defenseless people and automobiles, people would think more about one of the real costs of our car culture.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

STREETSBLOG USA

Even When a Driver Intentionally Causes Mayhem, Media Call It an “Accident”

|
The New York Police Department stopped using the term “accident” to refer to car collisions because it conveys the “connotation that there is no fault or liability.” In the press, however, “accident” remains standard practice, even when a driver rams another person on purpose. The Safe Roads Alliance, an organization that promotes safe driving, tracked down […]

Two Cities, Two Draggings, One Night (UpdatedL 11:16 A.M.)

|
You didn’t read that wrong. In Alhambra a seventy-eight year old man was run down in his wheelchair while crossing the street in a crosswalk.  According to Alhambra police, there was no way that the driver could not have been aware that he had collided with Shih-Saing Ho’s wheelchair.  From the story on ABC7 (video […]
STREETSBLOG USA

Has the NTSB Made a Single Recommendation on Bike Safety Since 1972?

|
The National Transportation Safety Board, whose current chair, Deborah Hersman, is the reported frontrunner to replace Ray LaHood as transportation secretary, is the federal agency charged with “assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.” These are the people who investigate every single plane or passenger train crash. But NTSB doesn’t have much to say about the […]

The Blame Game

|
Today on the Network, Ohio member blog Xing Columbus questions a recent article in The Columbus Dispatch that attributes Franklin County pedestrian fatalities to carelessness on the part of the victim. According to a Columbus police officer interviewed in the story, local people killed by cars are usually jaywalking or "just walking in the road" […]