Why are pedestrian death rates so high in LA after the Vision Zero Initiative?
The tragic death of a 91-year-old actor has once again called to light the growing problem of pedestrian safety in Los Angeles. Orson Bean, who rose to fame in the 1950s and became a familiar face in a wide array of TV game shows and series, was fatally struck by a car on February 7 in Los Angeles. Bean was walking outside of the crosswalk on Venice Boulevard when he was hit by a car and fell. He was then hit by a second vehicle. Tragically, he was pronounced death in front of the Pacific Resident Theatre. This and many other cases led to the Vision Zero Initiative.
Pedestrian Deaths Have Risen 33 Percent Since 2015
In 2015, Mayor Garetti set a goal for zero traffic deaths by the year 2035, known as Vision Zero Initiative. Sadly, in the four years since this initiative was launched, the number of pedestrians, vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, and bicyclists killed annually in traffic accidents has risen 33 percent. Since 2015, 244 people have died in accidents in Los Angeles, including 134 pedestrians.
Pedestrian accidents comprise a small portion of the overall traffic accidents, but the rate of pedestrians killed in such accidents is tremendous. During a five-year period in LA, pedestrians were involved in eight percent of all accidents, but represented 44 percent of those killed.
The death of a four-year-old hit while walking to school with her mother ignited public outcry in 2019 over the continued deaths of pedestrians. In response to this and overall pedestrian death data, the Transportation Department is said to have made significant changes to the crosswalks and traffic signals to improve street safety. However, Bean’s death shows problems still exist.
Distracted Drivers Put Pedestrians At-Risk
One of the major reasons behind the increase in pedestrian deaths both in Los Angeles and nationally is thought to be the growing rate of driver distraction. Despite laws banning the practice, American drivers admit in high rates to texting while driving, going on social media, talking on the phone, playing with music apps, and other distracting behaviors. Drivers who are not putting their whole focus on the road are more likely to fail to see a pedestrian crossing the road, whether inside or outside of the crosswalk. Increased measures to end distracted driving may have a positive correlation with diminished pedestrian deaths. For now, anyone who has been involved in a pedestrian accident or lost a loved one in such a tragic manner should contact our Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyers at Compass Law Group, LLP. Our firm of experienced and dedicated attorneys can review your potential case and pursue the justice you deserve.