West Traffic Division
America has more drunk drivers than most countries have people. On average, 10,000 people are killed in drunken driving collisions in the United States each year, which is comparable to the combined fatalities of twenty (20) jumbo jets crashing.
Captain’s Message - December 2014
Two out of three drivers involved in fatal traffic collisions between the hours of midnight and three in the morning were driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Many additional drivers were driving under the influence of drugs when they became involved in fatal collisions.
In the Year 2012, nationwide, 1,612 passengers were killed in vehicles driven by individuals with a blood alcohol content of .08 and over. In that same year, the occupants of other vehicles killed by a DUI driver totaled 1,049. An additional 710 pedestrians and bicyclists were killed by DUI drivers. Also, 91 innocent child passengers of DUI drivers were killed.
With the approach of the upcoming holidays and related celebrations, comes an increase in both vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and often the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Consuming alcoholic beverages or drugs severely hinders a driver’s ability to observe traffic conditions, make the appropriate driving decisions, and take the necessary actions when operating a vehicle. . . which can have disastrous results. Although many individuals have not seen the devastating results of alcohol or drug related traffic collisions, the reality is that this is a serious problem facing the traveling members of the community. When an individual is operating a vehicle while impaired, he or she becomes a very significant threat to the lives of pedestrians and bicyclists as well as other motorists. Statistics indicate that the problem of impaired drivers operating vehicles on our roadways is extensive. Impaired drivers cause severe injuries, including paralysis and death, to thousands of innocent people every year.
The following events are being sponsored by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the entire month of December and holiday season:
* “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” is from November 28 to December 9, 2014. Even if you’ve had just a little to drink, you can still get a DUI and be involved in a crash. Only drive when you are sober. Too many people wait until they’ve been drinking to figure out their ride home. By then, it’s too late to make a clear-headed decision. You might think you’re just “buzzed” and that you’re “okay to drive,” but remember this: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. For more information, go to www.nhtsa.gov/StopImpairedDriving
* “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is another national Crackdown campaign, scheduled for December 10 – 31, 2014. It comes as no surprise that there is a spike in drunk driving crashes each December. If you will be drinking, do NOT plan on driving. Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before the party begins or call a taxi or sober friend. Some DUI offenders say the reason they drove drunk or buzzed was because they didn’t want to spend money on a cab. The average DUI costs $10,000 . . . wouldn’t you rather pay cab fare? Remember it is never safe to drink and drive. For more information, please go to www.StopImpairedDriving.org.
In addition to the enforcement efforts of all of the officers assigned to West Traffic Division, a special unit of officers is also deployed whose primary function is the direct enforcement of laws prohibiting driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The combined enforcement efforts of all of West Traffic’s officers serve to both educate the public and decrease the number of tragic collisions that could have occurred. Help others be responsible, too. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. You can possibly save a life. Also remember to call the police if you see someone driving drunk. Getting drunk drivers off our roads saves lives.
Please remember that when you take control of a vehicle the safety of the public, including other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists is dependent upon your ability to operate your vehicle in a safe manner. Please also watch for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists since their smaller overall size can be more difficult to see as we share the road. Some DUI offend
Community Traffic Services Unit (CTSU) is one of the specialized units operating as a part of West Traffic Division that works to resolve particular community concerns. If you have traffic safety concerns in a particular area, you may contact CTSU at 213-473-0215 or West Traffic Division at 213-473-0222 to voice your concerns. Also, please see CTSU's Web Page listed under the West Traffic Division Web Page.
The areas within Operations-West Bureau and WTD are Hollywood, Wilshire, West Los Angeles, Pacific, and Olympic Areas. Any of the geographical areas' Web Pages can also be accessed via http://www.LAPDonline.org. Please check the Crime Prevention Circular for the areas that are of particular interest to you.
Tips to help you and your loved ones arrive safely:
* LOOK both ways twice before crossing the street.
* ALWAYS wear your seatbelt.
* DON’T drink and drive.
* Do NOT use handheld devices such as cell phones,
MP3 players nor GPS units while driving.
* Please SLOW DOWN. Speed kills.
* WATCH OUT for pedestrians crossing streets in and
outside of crosswalks, especially at night.
Captain Rolando Solano
West Traffic Division