Citing an increase in traffic fatalities on Los Angeles streets, the City Council requested an audit by the controller into the city’s Vision Zero Initiative, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths in the city by 2025.
“The city’s Vision Zero Initiative is without question well-intentioned. It sought to stem the overwhelming number of traffic collisions that take the lives of pedestrians and cyclists every year in our city,” said Councilman Paul Koretz before the vote Friday. “At the time of its implementation, pedestrians and cyclists accounted for more than half of fatal traffic collisions, and children and seniors were five times more likely than drivers to be killed or severely injured.”
However, Koretz said, “This data doesn’t look much better today,” seven years after Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the Vision Zero executive directive.
Koretz said that 289 people were killed in traffic collisions last year as of Dec. 25, which is 21% more than the same period in 2020 and 19% more than 2019. He added that nearly 1,500 people were severely injured last year, representing a 30% increase from 2020.
“This is a safety issue, a public health issue, a quality-of-life issue, it’s a funding and resource issue and it’s an issue of priorities for our city,” he said.
The motion, which passed 10-0, requested the Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin to conduct an audit of the Vision Zero Initiative, which will serve as guidance to the city as it continues its efforts toward eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries.
The motion also instructed the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Bureau of Engineering, Bureau of Street Services, Bureau of Street Lighting, Los Angeles Police Department, Bureau of Contract Administration, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and other relevant departments to report with a status update on the implementation of the immediate and long term actions ordered in Garcetti’s executive directive and conduct an assessment of the nature of the traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries that continue to occur. The departments will also issue recommendations on how the city can prevent future fatalities and serious injuries and achieve the goals of Vision Zero Initiative within its timeline.