LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — No, those aren’t mirages you’re seeing while driving on LA freeways.
Pedestrians, bikers, people on skates. Drivers have reported seeing all of them on our freeways recently and none of this is a good idea, of course.
Officials think they know who, or more accurately what, is to blame.
“Whether it be social media putting it out there, there does seem to be more instances,” says CHP Officer Weston Haver of the West Valley division.
CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Rachel Kim said these instances are becoming more common.
Thursday morning’s rush hour commute in LA started out normal for a man named JD until he and his dash-cam saw a man taking a leisurely stroll in the number one lane of the 110 North near Slauson.
JD told Kim the man had headphones on and looked like he didn’t have a care in the world as cars whizzed by him at high speeds.
Earlier this month, a driver named Jake Asner recorded a man on two wheels casually riding on the 101 near Highland during the evening rush hour.
“A lot of the drivers were swerving, they were trying to get into other lanes, and he almost got hit a couple of times. So, it’s pretty dangerous,” says Asner.
That wasn’t the end of it.
Another stunt just a few weeks ago. A group of guys doing stunts on their bikes down the busy 110 through downtown LA.
Officer Haver says all this is not only dangerous, it’s also illegal.
“This regulatory sign is on every freeway on-ramp. Approximately 50 feet or so up the freeway on-ramp saying pedestrians prohibited on the freeway. Multiple infractions, multiple citations, you ultimately can face jail time,” Haver says.
As to why there seems to be more pedestrians and bicyclists on our freeways, Haver doesn’t believe social media is solely to blame.
“We’d have to look at the correlation. Whether it’s possibly due to the homeless population, or what not, there’s a lot of different variables as far as whether it’s being under the influence or a broken down car or simply don’t know the state laws,” says Haver.
He also recommends if you encounter someone walking or biking on the freeway to keep a safe distance and call 911.
Authorities are also asking for drivers not to record the incidents on their cellphones — if you have a passenger, ask them to hit record.