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.

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:

In February 2018, SCAG’s Regional Council approved safety targets for calendar year 2018 that are consistent with and supportive of Caltrans’ established targets.

SCAG’s targets are as follows:

Number of Fatalities:

1,601

Rate of Fatalities per 100 million Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT):

0.97

Number of Serious Injuries:

5,752

Rate of Serious Injuries per 100 million VMT:

3.5

Number of Non–motorized Fatalities and Non–motorized Serious Injuries:

2,068.2

SCAG’s efforts to evaluate potential targets for calendar year 2018 targets are detailed in this document.

SCAG anticipates meeting with stakeholders to develop a Regional Safety Plan starting in spring 2018.


Regional High Injury Network

To identify where most of the collisions are occurring, SCAG created a High Injury Network at a regional scale utilizing five year dataset from TIMS 2010-2014. High Injury Networks include stretches of roadways where the highest concentrations of collisions occur on the transportation network. The HIN is intended to show where fatal and serious collisions are occurring in the region and is not an assessment of whether a street or location is dangerous. A HIN, suggests which corridors within a transportation network carry a higher risk of injury. Through case studies from City of San Francisco, City of Los Angeles, Oregon Metro and Portland Bureau of transportation, SCAG developed a methodology to map high injury network for our region. When developing a HIN, jurisdictions typically want to identify a subset of the network where the most collisions are occurring (>50%). Developing a HIN can prove helpful for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Determining geographic areas where crashes are concentrated and the causes of these crashes, so that efforts can be focused on the most challenging areas and crash factors.
  • Strengthening collaboration to focus street improvements and education campaigns (e.g., Go Human) along the HIN.
  • Prioritizing investments within these areas to reduce collisions.

The interactive story map identifies the high injury network for the SCAG region by modes. Although SCAG’s Regional Safety Existing Conditions Report provides crash rates at the regional and county levels, the high injury network is not normalized by VMT or by population, as would be done to create crash rates. The high injury network crash scores are purposefully not normalized by VMT or population because the intent was to identify corridors with the highest concentrations of serious injury and fatal crashes, compared to the rest of the county, no matter the number of VMT or population. This intent is tied directly to achieving our Towards Zero Deaths-related safety targets and to help local jurisdictions focus on improvements where they are most needed. SCAG identified cities in our region which are a part of SCAG’s high injury network. SCAG aims to work closely with these cities to identify safety concerns, reduce fatalities and serious injuries, and in turn achieve our regions safety targets. While developing HIN at a regional level helps in identifying cities in the SCAG region, it is recommended that cities develop a high injury network at the city level to identify concentrations of collisions. Details on High injury network mapping are provided in Transportation Safety and Security Technical report on Connect SoCal Website.

View HIN Interactive Story Map