The Los Angeles Police Department wants to reduce the number of serious car accidents in the city by 10 percent. But the LAPD does not think it can do it by themselves. The public might have to give up its habit of distracted driving to make this goal a reality.

The LAPD recently was scheduled to present a plan to reduce serious and fatal injuries in auto accidents to the L.A. Police Commission. Among the proposals is to beef up traffic enforcement. At least 110 officers have been asked to volunteer to transfer to that department.

A 10 percent cut may not sound like very much, but the statistics of injuries and deaths from car accidents in L.A. are so grim, that it could mean dozens of lives saved each year. A total of 6,187 traffic accidents were reported from the beginning of the year to March 1. Roughly 40 percent of them involved a hit-and-run driver. Thirty-one involved at least one fatality.

Pedestrians are frequent victims. There were 443 pedestrian accidents in the first two months of 2014.

One focus of the LAPD proposal is to protect their own from harm in collisions. Besides educating police on traffic enforcement, the police union president said, he hopes to encourage officers to wear seat belts and otherwise reduce their own risk of injury.

Many, if not most, of the accidents the LAPD hopes to stop might be prevented if motorists take their responsibilities more seriously. This includes not committing distracted driving through cellphone use. Someone who is hurt by a distracted driver or other negligent person has the right to be compensated.

Source: KPCC-FM, “Los Angeles to introduce plan to reduce serious traffic crashes this year,” Erika Aguilar, April 7, 2014