FATAL DISTRACTIONS VALLEY PEDESTRIANS PAYING DEADLY PRICE FOR CARELESSNESS.Byline: Ryan Oliver Staff Writer
Traffic deaths have jumped 42 percent in the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. this year with much of the increase involving elderly pedestrians who were jaywalking jay·walk
intr.v. jay·walked, jay·walk·ing, jay·walks
To cross a street illegally or in a reckless manner.
[From jay2, inexperienced person. , police reported Thursday.
So far this year 28 pedestrians have been killed in the Valley, compared with 17 at the same time last year - a 64 percent increase.
``These are totally preventable tragedies,'' said Capt. Greg Meyer Greg Meyer is best known for his accomplishments in distance running. Most notably, he is the last American male to win the Boston Marathon. Education
He attended Touro Law School for only two semesters. , who heads the Valley Traffic Division for the Los Angeles Police Department "LAPD" and "L.A.P.D." redirect here. For other uses, see LAPD (disambiguation).
This article or section is written like an . .
``People need to look both ways and understand they're not going to beat the car. In all but two of the 10 latest cases, it was the pedestrians at fault. The pedestrian was walking or running in the middle of the street.''
Meyer was particularly concerned about a six-week period that ended earlier this month when all 10 people killed in traffic deaths in the Valley were pedestrians.
That streak came to an end this week - when a man died Sunday in a motorcycle crash and, on Wednesday, 41-year-old Craig Alan Miller Alan Miller is a pioneering and influential figure in the video game industry. He was an early game designer and programmer for Atari 2600 games who went on to found two large video game developers and publishers. of Winnetka was killed as a pickup truck crashed into the hospital van in which he was riding. Fourteen others were injured in the crash in which the hospital van was knocked into an LAPD 1. LAPD - Link Access Procedure on the D channel.
2. LAPD - Los Angeles Police Department. squad car. The case remains under investigation.
In the most recent pedestrian-caused deaths, two elderly men were hit by cars and killed last week while they were jaywalking - crossing the street at any point except at the corner, a marked crosswalk or a former crosswalk whose lines are still visible, even if faint.
Louis Benson, 81, of Tarzana was hit as he crossed Lindley Avenue near Ventura Boulevard Ventura Boulevard is one of the primary east-west thouroughfares in the San Fernando Valley; as it was originally a part of the El Camino Real (the trail between Spanish missions), Ventura Boulevard is the oldest route in the San Fernando Valley. It was also U.S. in Encino on Oct. 8, and a 61-year-old North Hollywood man was hit as he crossed Foothill Boulevard The following streets are named Foothill Boulevard:
A week earlier, Fritz Woiwode, 72, and his wife, Karin, 63, were killed when they were hit by a vehicle whose driver was headed to work in the predawn pre·dawn
The time just before dawn.
predawn adj. hours. The Encino couple, out on their morning walk, diagonally crossed the intersection of White Oak Avenue and Bessemer Street, police said. The deaths were attributed to pedestrian error.
Out of concern, Meyer said, the LAPD will try to reach out increasingly to senior citizens - at their centers, in their communities and in the media - to educate them on jaywalking danger.
``We're doing outreach (in) the media, and we have put the word out to all police stations in the Valley to make their traffic-enforcement focus ... pedestrian safety,'' Meyer said. ``The only way it's going to work is if people listen and take responsibility for their own actions.''
Carol Thorp, a spokeswoman for the Automobile Club of Southern California The Automobile Club of Southern California was founded December 13, 1900 in Los Angeles as one of the nation's first motor clubs dedicated to improving roads, proposing traffic laws and improvement of overall driving conditions. , said pedestrians and motorists must remain vigilant at all times to reduce fatalities. The auto club pushes a safety program in which both motorists and pedestrians ask themselves a number of questions.
``Pedestrians must ask themselves if they're visible and whether they assume things like motorists will stop for them and crosswalks will protect them,'' she said.
Drivers must ask themselves if they pay enough attention, slow down when children are around, look for dangerous intersections and use headlights at dusk, at dawn and in bad weather.
In 2001, the LAPD waged a campaign to reduce traffic accidents after fatalities surged in the Valley. It seemed to work when pedestrian accidents went down last year, but the improvement has evaporated evaporated
reduced in volume by evaporation; concentrated to a denser form. , said LAPD Detective Bill Bustos, lead traffic investigator in the Valley.
In response, the department is stepping up its jaywalking enforcement and also making sure officers cite motorists who don't yield to pedestrians when they're supposed to, he said.
'`If our officers observe someone crossing the middle of the street, obstructing traffic, we're going to stop them and cite them,'' he said. Traffic officers are also attending various community group meetings and going to senior citizen centers to urge pedestrian safety.
Ryan Oliver, (818) 713-3669
TRAFFIC AND PEDESTRIAN DEATHS