"Oh c’mon Officer… Isn’t there anything better you can do than run around writing tickets all day? I mean, after all, with all the guns and drugs and gangs in LA, why are you wasting your time with me?"
We hear this all the time. A residential street, 35-mph zone, parked cars, driveways, children playing or walking on the sidewalks, and someone drives by at 50 mph and asks why we’re "wasting our time."
The fact is that you're more likely to die in a traffic collision than by criminal or gang activity. According to the latest CHP statistics, 3,517 persons were killed and 201,478 were injured in California Collisions during 2001. That year saw 522,562 collisions throughout the state. There were 295 fatal collisions involving motorcyclists and 116 bicyclists killed. Pedestrians accounted for 721 deaths and 14,545 injuries. There were 8,405 motorcyclists injured and 11,412 bicyclists hurt in crashes, all in the same year, all here in California.
Valley Traffic Divisions jurisdiction of the San Fernando Valley covers 221 square miles with 2,823 street miles. During 2003, 92 people were killed in 87 traffic collisions. This doesn't include the freeways and incorporated cities within the valley. In an effort to reduce the number of fatalities, Valley Traffic Division officers wrote 81,088 traffic citations during 2003.
Other source material:
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
California Highway Patrol
United States Department of Transportation
California Department of Transportation
California Department of Motor Vehicles
California Office of Traffic Safety