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Santa Monica Ranks Third in County for Pedestrian Crashes, Injuries

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Jorge Casuso

December 9, 2019 -- Santa Monica ranked near the top of the list of Los Angeles County cities with the most pedestrian crashes and injuries in 2018, according to a new report by a personal injury law firm.

Santa Monica ranked third in both crashes and injuries -- with 90 and 91 respectively -- behind only Los Angeles and Long Beach, according to the study by Pollard Bailey based on CHP Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System crash data.

Santa Monica, however, had a higher rate per capita than the two much larger cities, according to an analysis of the data by the Lookout.

Los Angeles -- which topped the list with 3,340 pedestrian crashes and 3,301 pedestrians injuries -- had an estimated population of 3,990,456 in 2018, according to the U.S. Census.

The rate for LA was one crash for every 1,195 residents and one injury for every 1,209 residents, compared with one for every 1,016 and 1,005 respectively for Santa Monica, which has a population of 91,411.

Only West Hollywood, with an estimated population of 36,854 had a higher per capita rate in both categories -- with 60 crashes or one for every 614 residents and 57 injuries or one for every 647 residents.

"Pedestrian safety remains a central issue in Los Angeles County, especially as current trends indicate that total vehicle crashes are decreasing, but injuries and fatalities to pedestrians are rising every year," the report states.

"In 2015, the Vision Zero initiative was started with the hopes of reducing traffic fatalities in the county, but since its inception, the number of pedestrian fatalities has actually increased by more than 70 percent."

Los Angeles had 131 pedestrian fatalities in 2018, while Long Beach had 27, according to the report.

Santa Monica had none, after registering eight in 2017 ("Eighth Pedestrian Killed This Year in Santa Monica," November 21, 2017).

The alarming increase in pedestrian deaths in 2017 prompted the City Council to boost funding to make the city's busy streets safer and hire a “Vision Zero czar” ("Santa Monica City Council Calls for Safe Streets “Czar,” May 11, 2017).

So far this year, there have been two pedestrian fatalities in Santa Monica ("Elderly Pedestrian Killed by Drunk Hit-and-Run Driver," November 18, 2019).

In addition to ranking the Top 25 Cities in LA County with pedestrian crashes, the report by the 40-year-old law firm also charted accidents by time of day.

The study found a "clear pattern" for pedestrian injuries that appears to be "consistent with typical rush hour traffic patterns, with two spikes occurring early in the day and later in the afternoon."

The first spike takes place between 7 and 9 a.m., with the second occurring between 5 and 8 p.m., according to the study.

A smaller spike takes place between 3 and 4 p.m., which coincides with the hours students are let out of school.

Pedestrian fatalities generally peak between 8 and 10 p.m., with a smaller spike taking place between 4 and 7 a.m., according to the study.

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