Amid Rise in Crashes, More Officers Put on Patrol in LA Neighborhoods

Drivers trying to make left turns in front of speeding cars and red-light violations are among some of the main causes in the collisions

By Sean Fitz-Gerald
|  Thursday, Feb 13, 2014  |  Updated 12:03 AM PDT
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    Some of Los Angeles’ busiest intersections have seen more crashes than usual in the beginning of 2014, and the uptick has prompted LAPD to put more officers on patrol in certain neighborhoods to curb potentially deadly violations.

    Authorities on Wednesday provided NBC4 with a list of some of the worst intersections for crashes, as well as data pertaining to fatal collisions and hit-and-run incidents.

    Since last December, LAPD recorded three fatal crashes in its Northeast Division, which covers Los Feliz, Echo Park and Silver Lake.

    The department's Central Division, which covers the downtown area, has noted a 44 percent uptick in hit-and-run incidents in January alone.

    Sgt. Larry Delgado of LAPD's Central Traffic Division said a lot of the problems are stemming from right-of-way violations, such as turning left in front of somebody who is speeding. Unsafe left turns join red light violations as some of the biggest problems.

    There were six collisions at the intersection of Soto and Eighth streets in January -- the most in the Central Bureau covered by LAPD.

    Officers also recorded four collisions at the intersections of Spring and Seventh streets, Beverly and Rampart boulevards, and Los Feliz Boulevard and Riverside Drive.

    Police in the Northeast Division said they will be deploying more officers to traffic enforcement because of much higher hit-and-run proportions compared to neighboring Rampart and Hollenbeck divisions.

    Police say pedestrians can be problematic, too, and the LAPD is warning people to use crosswalks and avoid jaywalking.

    John Marshall High School student Janit Niyom said all she ever thinks about on her walk home is getting "to the other side" of the crosswalk -- as fast as she can.

    "There's a lot of cars, especially during rush hour," she said.

    Surgical technician Nakia Green crosses busy Los Feliz intersections every day.

    Said Green around rush hour: "This time in the evening it does cause a great amount of fear."

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