Los Angeles Department of Transportation released a draft of a plan that would have civilians enforce traffic law instead of Los Angeles Police Department.
Los Angeles Times obtained a draft report that has been under development for almost three years. It has not yet been released.
The plan outlines how to reduce the number of traffic deaths and reckless driving by narrowing streets, creating bike lanes and installing pedestrian crossings. It also called for civilians instead of police to conduct traffic checks.
According to LAPD statistics, in 2022 312 people died as a result of traffic accidents, an increase of 5% over 2021.
The Times reported that the plan will “naturally reduce traffic flow and discourage drivers from breaking road laws or speeding,” according to the Times.
LAPD had previously reduced the number of “pretextual” stops, which were used to stop individuals for minor violations in order to look for evidence of serious crimes such as guns and drugs. This report recommended that these stops be further restricted following a Times investigation which claimed that black and Latino motorists were stopped at a greater rate than white motorists.
Damian Kevitt is the executive director of Streets Are for Everyone. The organization is dedicated to reducing traffic deaths. Kevitt told the Times that “as a city we receive an F for our traffic and for the number of traffic violations, and for our ability to reduce serious injuries and fatalities.”
“I do understand that there is a housing shortage, and I agree that this should be our priority. “But we also have a traffic violence crisis in terms of public health,” he said.
The police department has expressed an interest in having a different agency enforce traffic violations.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore stated, “If DOT (Los Angeles Department of Transportation) were to take up that work, I think we would welcome it.”
According to a U.S. According to a U.S. Department of Justice report entitled “Making it Safer: A study of Law Enforcement Fatalities between 2010-2016”, traffic stops are the “most frequent self-initiated incidents that led officers to fatalities.”
The DOJ study stated that, given the dangers involved, “an additional officer is needed to provide assistance and cover” during traffic stops.
Colin Sweeney is the Los Angeles DOT public information director. He told the Daily Caller News Foundation that “as directed by Los Angeles City Council LADOT hired a team of consultants to study alternative to armed traffic enforcement and facilitate a task force for community advisory to develop recommendations to the City.”
The group has met several times since November 20,22, and the final report should be ready in the next few weeks. LADOT is looking forward to continuing to work with the City Council, the Mayor and other City agencies to make streets safer.