The Times’ Readers’ Call for Better Traffic Safety

Letters to the Editor: L.A.’s fundamental traffic safety problem? Road users hate each other?

November 9, 2018

As a driver, you can always sense how other drivers feel about you. And if, at times, you do feel that you are being treated unfairly, it is usually a good idea to bring the issue of traffic safety to the attention of the LAPD.

Recently, however, readers have been expressing frustration with the LAPD over how many drivers hate each other.

In an op-ed published on the news site Governing with the headline, “It’s about time the LAPD starts treating all drivers with respect.”

In the second paragraph, the Times’ Editorial Board writes: “The LAPD needs to improve its performance in solving the big intersection issues, such as the problems of dangerous intersections, the growing number of driver-on-driver crashes, and the lack of safety standards for cars, bikes and pedestrians.”

A reader wrote to us: “There’s so much negativity toward bicyclists in San Diego. For instance: Why aren’t bicyclists allowed to use the light at the intersection at La Jolla and San Diego? (This doesn’t apply to cars, obviously.)”

We appreciate the reader’s openness to constructive dialogue, and this reader’s comments are a good example of the ways we want our readers to engage in a fair and balanced conversation.

As a result of this reader’s comment, we have contacted San Diego police Chief Shelley Zimmerman.

On Nov. 8, Chief Zimmerman sent us a statement about our call for improvements in how cars and bicycles are treated on Los Angeles streets:

“I have been asked why the vast majority of cars that travel Los Angeles City streets are treated with such disrespect. The answer is because of our culture of tolerance and inclusion.

“To address the problem, our Department has made considerable progress addressing the complaints we hear on a regular basis. We are working with the LAPD on several initiatives that seek to improve the safety environment for all those who come into contact with road users.

“We are also taking steps towards a zero tolerance attitude towards violence and harassment on our streets. In the coming year, we will consider changes to our protocols to make it easier to remove a driver who appears to be drunk or who has

Leave a Comment