Recently, we brought you the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2011, fatalities across the nation dropped to their lowest level since before the 1950s. But the news wasn’t all rosy. Pedestrian and cyclist fatalities actually rose, and now it’s being reported that California is one state that actually bucked the national trend and posted an increase in overall fatalities last year.
2,791 people died throughout our state in 2011, which is a 2.6% jump from the previous year. This puts California just below the top of the heap when it comes to traffic fatalities. Only Texas posted higher death figures during the timeframe.
But officials in Los Angeles are looking to improve safety and cut down fatalities through a number of means. The Mayor was on hand yesterday to tout the installation of painted crosswalks that are meant to be more easily seen by commuters. Drivers will have to stop further back at these new crosswalks so that they don’t place themselves in the path of people on foot.
The 50 dangerous crosswalks picked for the installation should see work completed by March. Over time, city officials express optimism that all of the city’s intersections can receive similar overhauls. The hope is that the city’s 2,522 pedestrian collisions in 2010 will drop with the new safety measures.