Increase in Traffic Fatalities: LBPD Reminds Everyone To Share the Roadways Safely

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Traffic fatalities in Long Beach have increased 5.5% since this time last year, and the Long Beach Police Department would like to remind the community to be aware of their those around them while using the roadways as a motorist, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian.

While not all collisions are preventable, a number of them are. Anytime a person operates a motor vehicle, he or she must consider not only their own safety, but also that of any passengers in the vehicle, as well as other motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and others on or near the roadway.

So far this year, 19 traffic fatalities occurred in Long Beach, 7 of which involved pedestrians, 5 involved a motorcycle, 5 occurred when a vehicle struck a fixed object, 1 when a vehicle struck another vehicle and 1 when a vehicle and train collided.

For the same time period in 2011, there was a total of 18 fatalities, 5 involved pedestrians, 4 involved bicyclists, 3 occurred when a vehicle struck a fixed object, 3 involved a vehicle and a motorcycle, 2 involved a motorcycle striking a fixed object, and one 1 when a vehicle struck another vehicle.

In an effort to raise awareness and improve safety, the Long Beach Police Department regularly conducts regular traffic enforcement and safety awareness throughout the city with driver checkpoints, saturation patrols, and motorcycle enforcement operations. Daily enforcement of motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who fail to obey the laws designed to improve traffic safety is also an ongoing effort.

There are measures that the community can take to improve their safety and decrease the chances that they will be involved in a traffic collision. Everyone using the roadway should be alert, undistracted, and aware of his or her surroundings. Talking, texting, reading, or otherwise focusing on a cellular phone or other electronic device poses a danger to anyone on or near a road.

Pedestrians who are focused on an electronic device instead of their surroundings also increase the chances that they will be the victim of a robbery, as expensive electronics are an item that criminals often target. Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists listening to music using head phones while navigating busy streets are also putting themselves, as well as others, at risk.

Motorists must always obey the speed limit, use a seatbelt when operating or riding in a vehicle, and vehicle operators must use a wireless Bluetooth device when speaking on a cellular phone. Pedestrians should always use crosswalks, and should always look both ways before crossing, even if they have the right of way.

Anytime a member of the community spots a person violating the rules of the road, it is recommended that law enforcement be notified by calling 9-1-1. A description of the violator, vehicle, and location of the offense enables law enforcement to locate the individual.

“Education and awareness are key in improving the safety of all those using the roadways,” stated Chief Jim McDonnell. “Although no one likes to receive a citation, it is a small price to pay when one considers the tragedy that may have been averted.”

For more information about the rules of the road, please contact the Long Beach Police Department Traffic Section at (562) 570-7209.

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