LA Weekly published a report earlier this year that cited startlingly high instances of hit and runs in Los Angeles. Spurred by that report, the City Council requested that Chief Beck’s office study the issue and report back. That report, now released, contests some of the claims made by the media were skewed because it did not look at uniform reporting criteria.
Although the prevalence of hit and runs may not be as high as was reported by the LA Weekly, hit and runs involving bicyclists have been increasing. In total, more people were severely injured or killed due to hit and run accidents than by impaired driving.
To provide for a fairer comparison of hit and run statistics, the Department eliminated some factors, such as property damage collisions, included freeway collisions, and adjusted for traffic volume.
Using these matrices, the LAPD presented a different picture of Los Angeles’ hit and run culture. 16 percent of all collisions in Los Angeles between 2008 and 2012 resulted in injury. That’s higher than New York, Houston, San Francisco, or Seattle; and was bested only by Chicago’s 20 percent. Los Angeles came in third best in that same group when the LAPD looked at hit and runs per vehicle miles travelled.
Despite the better picture presented in the report, Los Angeles still had more than 20,000 hit and runs last year, a number which Chief Beck says is unacceptable.
Read the full report from the Los Angeles Police Department here.