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Segment | Interview

L.A. Weekly: Hit-and-Run Accidents Reaching 'Epidemic' Proportions

A disturbing story in the L.A. Weekly points to what it calls an "epidemic" of hit-and-run crashes in the City of Los Angeles -- 20,000 a year.

In fact, nearly half of all the crashes in L.A. are classified as hit-and-run. Some drivers are calling it a war zone out there. And according to the article, the Los Angeles Police Department is either unaware of how serious things are, or unwilling to talk about it.

L.A. Weekly editor Jill Stewart discusses with Val and Madeleine.

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Your focus on the LAPD is not even half the story. As detailed in John Fisher's excellent history of transportation management in Los Angeles and in Peter D. Norton's "Fighting Traffic" - our streets have been turned over to auto-throughput-centric engineers.

Our streets are designed as car-only sewers pipes, with engineers counting the turds floating by as a measure of "progress". We have sacrificed nearly everything on the alter of automobile throughput, even the economic viability of our cities.

Which would we rather have: a road maintenance not-for-profit or a city? As things are now, we cannot have both.

The LA Weekly's story is the first in what ought to be a news-cycle long story arch that helps to mobilize and coalesce a citizen movement to calm our streets and sustain the civility that has been ripped from our cities by an over emphasis on car throughput. Real safety has been sidelined for too long.

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It's a combo of LADOT not giving a turd about pedestrians or cyclists for 50 years running - the actively remove crosswalks, and the LAPD being overburdened to the point where, in the rare instance in which a plate is reported, they can't even look up the plate for 2 weeks unless of course you die. If you die, they usually look up the plate for the family.

LADOT and LAPD do have time however, to show up at Transportation Committee meetings as well as Neighborhood Council meetings and advocate for speed limit increases. You know, so that drivers can speed at 45mph from red light to red light.