Be careful when crossing the street.
From a piece called Increasing pedestrian safety will take more than tougher laws in the Los Angeles Times by Sandy Banks.
A pedestrian is struck and killed, on average, almost every few days in Los Angeles.
More than one-third of motor vehicle deaths in this city involve pedestrians. That’s one of the highest rates in the country, and it just keeps growing.
Many of those are hit-and-run cases — difficult for police to solve and impossible for grief-stricken families to comprehend.
Last month, the City Council moved to tighten tracking of hit-and-run deaths and enact tougher penalties for drivers who flee the scene of collisions.
That came four days after a 16-year-old boy was struck and killed outside his church in South L.A., as he left a youth group meeting. The white Nissan Maxima sped away.
Just this past weekend, two pedestrians died: A young man was killed while he tried to cross the Glendale Freeway on Sunday. Two cars hit him; only one of them stopped. On Friday night, a mother of three was run down in La Habra in a Whittier Boulevard crosswalk. Police chased and captured the driver; she’s 20 years old.
You don’t even have to be walking to become a statistic.
Two years ago, an infant in a stroller on the sidewalk was killed during L.A.’s downtown Art Walk by a car that jumped the curb. Two months ago, a man was killed waiting for his car at the valet stand outside a restaurant on Ventura Boulevard.
And just last week a woman was struck and killed in Inglewood. She had just buckled a baby into a safety seat and was standing next to her car. A pickup truck slammed into her, throwing her 30 feet into the air, before driving off.
The next day, the driver called police and turned himself in. He was booked for felony hit-and-run and jailed on $50,000 bail. Police credited news coverage of the case with persuading him to surrender.
It will take more than tougher laws to save pedestrians’ lives. Lynch sees her job as reminding drivers, new and old, about the responsibility that being behind the wheel requires.