SHERMAN OAKS (CBSLA.com) — Traffic officers with the LAPD were expected to be out in force in the San Fernando Valley Wednesday following a recent string of deadly traffic accidents.
The entire Valley Traffic Division were on patrol from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at high-volume intersections where 20 pedestrians have been fatally struck this year, the Daily News reported.
That number marks an 18 percent jump from the total number of fatalities last year, while the total number of all auto accidents involving pedestrians in the area is up 4 percent year to date, according to Valley Traffic Division.
Sgt. David Delgado with the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO police often use data to determine where and when they need to step up their patrols.
“We’re looking at areas where we’ve had a larger number of these types of collisions with vehicles versus the pedestrians or the bicycles,” Delgado said. “So we’ve identified areas in the Valley for today in which we’ll deploy extra resources in order to see if we can combat that with enforcement or education.”
During the enforcement effort, officers will target drivers in North Hollywood, Van Nuys, along Ventura Boulevard and other locations for violations including failure to yield or stop, as well as rolling through crosswalks when pedestrians are present.
LAPD officers – including “decoy officers” in plain clothes – while also be citing pedestrians as well for jaywalking and other violations.
“What we’re seeing is pedestrians and even bikes that are in the roadway, and either they’re not paying attention to what’s going on or committing violations that, in turn, is causing vehicles to collide with them,” he said.
CBS2′s Amber Lee reports pedestrian Lee Willis said the crackdown made him feel at least slightly safer as he made his way across Ventura at Lemona Avenue.
“I like the idea that they’re patrolling it, but anybody that wouldn’t stop is not being responsible for what they’re doing,” Willis said.