According to data released by the Los Angeles Police Department, 2022 was the deadliest year in at least two decades in terms of traffic fatalities. Over 300 people were killed in traffic collisions last year, a 5% increase over 2021 and a 229% increase over 2020.
Of the 312 people who lost their lives in Los Angeles-area traffic accidents in 2022, pedestrians and bicyclists saw some of the most staggering increases, with 159 people killed in collisions involving pedestrians and motorists, a 19% rise compared with 2021, and 20 people killed in collisions involving bicyclists and motorists, an 11% rise.
The upsurge in traffic fatalities in 2022 far outpaced national trends. While full nationwide data for 2022 data isn’t yet available, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that fatalities from traffic crashes were essentially flat nationwide in the first nine months of 2022 compared with 2021. Fatalities among cyclists and pedestrians rose nationwide last year but were lower than the percentage rise seen in L.A.
LAPD officials pointed out the “greatest-risk intersections” as Soto Street and Washington Boulevard and Florence and Vermont avenues, both in South L.A., as well as Balboa Boulevard and Saticoy Street in Lake Balboa, and Cahuenga Boulevard and Selma Avenue in Hollywood.
This trend is another setback for L.A. City Hall’s Vision Zero plan to end traffic fatalities in the city entirely by 2025 through engineering and education programs.
A Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) representative stated that 242 people were killed in collisions in 2003, the first year that data is readily available.
It’s unclear how the recent enactment of the Freedom to Walk Act, which effectively decriminalizes jay-walking in most cases, may impact L.A.’s traffic fatality rate in 2023.
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