It’s been more than three years since L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the Vision Zero initiative, which seeks to eliminate all traffic-related deaths by 2025. The year of the launch, 183 people were killed on L.A. streets. By 2017, that figure jumped to 245. Last year, the number dropped only slightly to 240.
That figure comes from recently-released data from the transportation department. The stats also show 127 pedestrians were killed in 2018, the second-highest number of recorded pedestrian deaths in the past 15 years. 21 bicyclists died last year, making 2018 a tie for the highest number of bicyclist fatalities since 2003.
“We will continue to pursue our goal of zero traffic deaths until we meet that mark, because loss of life and severe injuries resulting from traffic collisions are preventable outcomes we can address,” Garcetti spokesperson Anna Baher told Curbed LA. She noted that overall traffic-related fatalities are down since 2015 and highlighted a series of efforts L.A. has made to improve motorist and pedestrian safety in the city.
While L.A. continues to struggle, a number of other cities that have adopted Vision Zero goals have seen dramatic improvements in traffic safety. In New York and San Francisco, fatal crashes are at their lowest levels in 100 years.
Nevertheless, national figures show pedestrian deaths continue to rise. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there were 6,227 pedestrian fatalities in the country in 2018. That’s the highest number of fatalities in 28 years and follows a steady 10-year increase.
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