Safety

Image: Banner Safety Collage

Southern California is home to roughly 19 million people, about half the entire state’s population, and 15 million licensed drivers. We rely on our cars, buses, rail lines, bicycles, and feet to get around. And we’re getting around a lot. We travel more than 440 million miles every day. That’s equivalent to 17,911 trips around the world every day. The thing is, we aren’t going around the world. We’re going to work, the grocery store, to visit our grandma, and to our child’s soccer game.

With all that traveling, it’s not surprising that mistakes are getting made. At the wrong moment, we might take a quick glance at a text message, rush to make it through a traffic signal, or forgo the intersection to cross midblock. The consequences of these mistakes can last a lifetime.

On average, each year in Southern California, 1,500 people are killed, 5,200 are seriously injured, and 136,000 are injured in traffic collisions. These numbers represent children, parents, spouses, relatives, and friends. These are people who were going about their typical day—again, heading to work, the grocery store, and to visit grandma. Collisions are happening in every community in our region, from El Centro in Imperial County to Malibu in Los Angeles County. They are happening to people from all walks of life, to those who drive and to people who walk and bike.

The State of California, SCAG, and local governments are committed to ensuring transportation safety for all people in our region. Metropolitan planning organizations such as SCAG are working with the state to develop safety targets to comply with transportation legislation. More specifically, we are working together to assess fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads and set annual performance targets for (at a minimum):

  • Number of Fatalities;
  • Rate of Fatalities per 100 million Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT);
  • Number of Serious Injuries;
  • Rate of Serious Injuries per 100 million VMT; and
  • Number of Non–motorized Fatalities and Non–motorized Serious Injuries.

We plan to use the information and data generated to help us make better transportation decisions that result in fewer fatalities and serious injuries. We want to find solutions to make the region safer for everyone. The first step is to acquire a perspective on our existing conditions. Specifically, what is happening? Where is it happening? When is it happening? Who is it happening to? And most importantly, why is it happening? We have developed a Transportation Safety: Regional Existing Conditions Report to provide answers to some of these questions.

Transportation Safety County Fact Sheets are also available:

SCAG is working to establish regional safety targets for calendar year 2018. SCAG has the option to agree to support Caltrans’ recently established targets, establish numerical targets specific to our region, or use a combination of both. SCAG documents its efforts to evaluate potential targets and its recommendation for calendar year 2018 targets in this document. SCAG anticipates finalizing its safety targets by February 2018.