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Focus on truly ambitious traffic safety goal for Los Angeles

Talk about optimism.

Safety officials in Los Angeles have a flat-out lofty goal that they seek to achieve within a decade. If realized, it would unquestionably make the metropolitan area the safest municipality in the country.

To wit: No traffic-related deaths anywhere in the city by 2025.

As in zero.

"Zero is the right goal," says one civil engineer focused upon making things safer at city intersections across Los Angeles County.

"It's doable," he adds.

But is it really?

Perhaps it's simply a useless point to even question the high hopes of officials, given the clearly laudatory nature of what they aim to achieve. An accident-free Los Angeles -- who would even want to question such a thing? And every step made toward effecting that outcome -- be it through engineering adjustments, educational campaigns, increased enforcement emphasis and other efforts -- unquestionably redounds to a safer Los Angeles.

One recent media story highlights one such effort, which has been made possible through a federal funding grant. Every month, heightened enforcement efforts are made by LAPD officers at a specifically selected location of the city that has been termed a high-risk traffic area. Special emphasis is being placed on the protection of bicyclists and pedestrians.

The need is great, given related statistics that are glaring and even jarring in their immediacy. Reportedly, about 30,000 traffic crashes occur every year in Los Angeles, killing approximately 200 people and injuring close to 1,000 more.

Clearly, there is much work remaining to be done to come even close to the vaunted zero-accidents goal.

Still, progress is progress, and something to be heartily applauded.

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