Addressing Recklessness: The Urgent Need for Increased Traffic Law Enforcement in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California – Traffic fatalities have surged in Los Angeles over the past years, with road recklessness significantly increasing during the pandemic. A recent op-ed article by Michael Schneider highlighted the decline in driving courtesy in Southern California, with many drivers disregarding stop signs and running red lights. While Measure HLA aims to improve safety and transit options in Los Angeles, it fails to address the underlying issue of recklessness as the primary cause of traffic deaths. The focus should be on enforcing basic traffic laws, whether through the use of cameras or police officers.

Pedestrian deaths have also seen a worrying rise, and it comes as no surprise to those who drive in Los Angeles. Pedestrians frequently cross the street while engrossed in their phones, or step into crosswalks without checking for oncoming traffic. While they may have the right of way, such negligence can have fatal consequences. A movement is needed to raise awareness and remind these “phone zombies” to pay attention by sounding our horns.

Comparisons with Queensland state in Australia further highlight the urgent need for improved road safety measures in the United States. In 2021, Queensland recorded a traffic death rate of 4.4 per 100,000 people, significantly lower than the U.S. rate of 12.9. Queensland’s success can be attributed to the use of radar cameras on motorways to monitor speed violations, sensors at intersections to catch red-light runners, and mobile speed vans that issue digital citations to speeders.

The lack of enforcement of traffic laws in Los Angeles is a contributing factor to the city’s rising pedestrian death toll. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been minimal police oversight, with few drivers facing consequences for speeding or running red lights. Additionally, distracted driving caused by cell phone use has become increasingly prevalent. The failure of law enforcement to prioritize traffic law enforcement is concerning and drivers are well aware of this lack of accountability.

To address this issue, U.S. politicians need to prioritize the safety of their constituents and commit to implementing effective road safety measures. The current state of affairs is deemed “absurd roadway bloodletting” by Brian Burd of Santa Barbara, suggesting a pressing need for change. Without a concerted effort to enforce traffic laws, Los Angeles will continue to experience a surge in pedestrian deaths.

Overall, the urgency to combat rising traffic fatalities in Los Angeles requires a comprehensive approach. The focus must shift towards enforcing traffic laws, embracing technological solutions such as radar cameras and sensors, and holding reckless drivers accountable. Failure to prioritize road safety will only perpetuate the alarming trend of preventable deaths on Los Angeles roads.