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Traffic deaths in LA soared last year

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More people were killed last year than in 2015, despite a big plan to make streets safer

Pedestrians crossing the street at the crosswalk. Abstrkt.ch/Creative Commons

The number of people killed in traffic collisions in Los Angeles soared 43 percent from 2015 to last year, even as city officials worked to curb traffic deaths, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Last year was the first full year for the city’s Vision Zero policy, which is aimed at reducing and eventually totally eliminating traffic deaths. But in that time, 260 pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers and passengers died in collisions on city streets, a marked increase from the 186 traffic deaths that occurred in 2015.

LA appears to be on track to have another very dangerous year: So far in 2017, the number of traffic crash deaths is up 22 percent compared to the same time period last year, according to the Times.

Seleta Reynolds, the general manager of the city’s transportation department, told the Times that two factors are an increase in the number of cars on the road and vehicle speeds.

She spoke with Curbed earlier this year about the department’s plan to reduce traffic crash deaths by not only applying the more traditional tenets of road safety (engineering, enforcement, education, and evaluation) but also by taking a broader approach that includes trying to change the culture surrounding collisions and acknowledging that every crash is preventable.