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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Northeast police seek to drive down traffic collisions

The LAPD’s Northeast Division is redeploying more officers to traffic enforcement, which means motorists – as well as pedestrians and cyclists – will be under greater scrutiny in the months ahead.

Five officers from the Northeast Division, which stretches from Echo Park and Silver Lake to Eagle Rock and Highland Park, will be shifted into traffic enforcement as part of a department  effort to improve traffic safety, according to Northeast Division Capt. Jeffrey Bert. Those additional and existing traffic officers will be focused on dangerous driver behavior, such as speeding, driving while using mobile phones and unsafe left turns. But, Bert adds, officers will also be warning, as well as citing, pedestrians and cyclists. “The reality is that when people get cited, it does modify their behavior more than a warning,” Bert said.

In 2013*, eight persons died and 27 suffered severe injuries in more than 2,100 traffic collisions reported in the Northeast Division, according to LAPD figures. While there was a decline in overall collisions compared to 2012, Bert notes that about half of those collisions involved hit-and-run drivers. That’s a much higher proportion than in the neighboring Hollenbeck and Rampart divisions. There was also a slight increase in the number of collisions – 140 vs. 145 – involving cyclists, he said.

In addition to tickets and warnings, Bert said his division will increase attention to speeding on side streets in areas where bike lanes have been added and traffic lanes removed.

The shift in officers from traditional crime fighting to traffic enforcement will not reduce overall public safety, he said. In fact, the result will increase the LAPD’s presence on the streets, he said.

Bert said the department will evaluate the redeployment  in about six months but he expects the shift maybe a welcome, long-term change. “My gut feeling is that its not going away.”

* The 2013 statistics provided by the Northeast Division cover the period from Jan. 1, 2013 to Dec. 28, 2013

2013 figures are from Jan. 1 - Dec. 28 | Source: LAPD

2013 figures are from Jan. 1 – Dec. 28 | Source: LAPD Northeast Division



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23 comments

  1. awesome. We need to crack-down on illegal behavior. Residential speeders reduce tranquility in our neighborhoods and put people at great risk. Autos and bikers running stop signs (though, I’ll admit.. I’ll slow roll stop signs on my bike when no other autos/ pedestrians present).. bikers riding on the wrong side of the street or hauling a** on sidewalks.

  2. OH BOY! Hold on to your wallets everyone! Here comes another money grab! Can’t balance a budget? Can’t say no to the unions because they put you in office? Well, let’s go write some chicken-sh*t tickets!

    • So, you are in favor of speeding on public streets because you’re against collective bargaining, right?….(just trying to get your position clear in my mind).

      • My position is clear. The union puppets (our politicians) have to keep the quid-pro-quo game going because they were put in office by the unions resulting in compensation and benefit packages WAY WAY out of line compared to an equivalent job in the private sector. Therefore, the taxpayers get higher taxes, higher fees and revenue driving campaigns such as this under the guise of safety. It’s all BS.
        Pick up a paper. The same BS is happening to our state government too.

        • Hi, Grahm, will you please tell me what job in the private sector is equivalent to being a police officer?–an elementary school teacher?–a fireman? Can you then provide information on comparable compensation and benefit packages which reflect savings to taxpayers if we were to pay our civil servants at levels which are not “WAY WAY” out of line with these compensations? Thank you.

          • Well, certainly I couldn’t give you a private sector job equivalent to a police officer because all they do is protect our local safety. The soldiers that make less than 1/4 of their salary are protecting our country. Maybe they should unionize.

            Elementary School Teacher? Well, that’s much more difficult. Given the results produced by the LAUSD are close to last (or next to last) in the country ever year, I’d say they should be paid the same as my babysitter! Because that’s pretty much all they are doing.

            And please please please stop calling your job “SERVING” ( I’m a civil SERVANT)! The paycheck you get means you are an employee; not a servant, an employee.

            I feel sorry for you El Hts. You obviously have one of these union jobs and see the impending doom of this broken city. Detroit coming to mind? Where do you think the money comes from? Do you believe it is as endless as your union would have you believe?

          • Echo Park resident

            I think he could have been referring to LA city government jobs and their seriously out-of-whack salaries. City Council members make $178k a year; when you compare that to the $95k salary of a state senator, it seems a little ludicrous doesn’t it?

            The City justifies the high salary because the COuncil members each individually have to “serve many constituents,” which begs the question — if the Council is so overworked by serving too many people, why not redistrict the city, add new districts, and elect a handful more people while slashing the existent salaries? Considering how CD13 is a mess of neighborhoods and citizens with extremely different wants/needs (ie: Echo Park shouldn’t be served by someone also serving the interests of Hollywood and mega developers) it’s not a bad idea.

    • Thank you! This scourge placed a on us drivers of “road Diets ‘ and, ‘Traffic Calming ” only creates road rage. Removing lanes, adding longer traffic signals, back up the traffic at rush hour time only encourage drivers to find other ways around the mess the brilliant city planners have created. Rowena Ave. is a mess! Will they admit it and change it back? Of course not, that would be admitting their mistake. Then come the men in blue to set up their little “special enforcement areas” or speed traps to cite drivers and raise revenue. in the name of traffic safety. Don’t lie to me and say it’s for our own good. I will never buy it.

    • If you drive but can’t afford to slow down so people can safely walk or drive along side you maybe you shouldn’t be driving in the first place! You get better urban gas mileage by cruising instead of rushing ahead to red lights.

      • You sound like the typical driver in front of me “cruising” to slam on their breaks at the slightest chance to stop at the next light. You are the guy who I am” driving along side” in need to get around and get in front of because you have no idea how to drive in the city. Yes drive safely don’t run into people both cars and pedestrians I get that. but get the hell out of my way. I see you on the street every day.

  3. Is there a reasonable way to reducing the speed/collisions on the 110?

    Just this past Sunday someone crashed into the Ave. 43 exit and was completely clogged for a few miles…

  4. Yes, please! Echo Park north of Sunset has stop sign runners and speeders all day long. Please have a look here, especially near Elysian Hts. Elementary! Thank you.

    • Echo Park resident

      Ditto! I live on a very narrow street in Elysian Heights — one of those streets where only one car can safely pass at a time — and the number of speeders who use the street as a cut through to get down to Sunset or Alvarado is a nightmare. I have almost been hit walking to my house several times this month alone.

  5. Most of the collisions are hit and run. No traffic ticket or enforcement is going to stop those. This is a waste of time.

    • Susan, this is absolutely not a waste of time. In my neighborhood folks drives at reckless speeds, running stop signs and ignoring safety. This is occurring on small residential streets. Especially alarming are the driving habits of people taking their kids to school, especially ER High. What kind of example are they setting for their soon to be driving children?

  6. The new road diet on Virgil Village has been great, except I have seen many cars trying to Fast and Furious it around the single lanes. I have seen people get in the left turn lane, wait for the light to turn green, then speed to get back in the single lane. Also have seen many people swerving into bike lanes and using the bike lanes to pass the single lane. I would love more police in Virgil Village. Not only for the traffic either. The local gang is getting stronger and stronger, shooting their guns and going on tagging rampages every night. Is it too late to save Virgil Village?

  7. The ROAD Diets/removing lanes really screwed things up in LA- they have BACKED UP traffic for people causing more congestion during,

    Also in Echo Park when Dodger Games play its a nightmare to get across there as well, on Glendale Blvd. they removed a road and its congested all through there –

    Not everyone rides bikes to work or to get their children after work school pick up, etc. LA is so widespread why are they shouldn’t remove more roads when theirs so many long commutes!

    • Not everyone drives, or takes the bus, or walks… this is about giving people choices. Christ, keep driving all you want but those of us who actually care about making a difference and want to avoid traffic will start walking, biking, and taking the bus… WHEN WE CAN.

  8. When people complain about reckless drivers making streets unsafe, one answer is “better enforcement”. For example, of posted speed limits, and of red-light violations.

    However, the vitriol in this thread indicates why better enforcement is not so simple. People hate getting tickets, and ticketing will alienate LAPD (farther) from citizens, so I assume LAPD doesn’t much like it either.

  9. You could make a butt load of money ticketing the speeders on Academy Drive. However 35 mph seems like a rediculous speed limit for this road, and no one (including the marked and unmarked police cars going to and from the academy) actually drives it. Actually, it would be the height of hypocrisy for the police to ticket anyone speeding on that road.

  10. PEOPLE YOUR MISSING THE POINT. Its called the North “EAST” Division

    Shouldn’t it be called the North Central Division if it covers “Echo Park and Silver Lake to Eagle Rock and Highland Park,” I think the neighborhood council needs another motion. Oh the humanity!

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