Long Beach
Police Department

Media Relations
400 W. Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 570-5273
Media Relations Detail
(562) 570-5273

Pedestrian fatalities are rising in California as more people use non-motorized means of transportation. Locally, the Long Beach Police Department has investigated 858 fatal and injury collisions involving pedestrians during the past three (3) years. In 2012, California experienced 612 pedestrian deaths that year while nationally 4,743 pedestrians were killed.

A national study reveals that pedestrians and drivers do not obey laws and signals consistently, and many often use cell phones, text, and listen to music while walking or driving. Only 60 percent of pedestrians said they expected drivers to stop when they were in crosswalks, even though they have the right-of-way.

Although we have seen a decline in traffic fatalities in Long Beach over the past few years, experiencing 31 in 2012, 27 in 2013, and 15 in 2014, many fatalities are preventable if pedestrians followed the law were more vigilant to their surroundings.

Of the 11 fatal collisions that have occurred this year, 7 involved pedestrians. The Long Beach Police Department’s Traffic Section has increased enforcement efforts relating to pedestrian offenses including, failure to obey traffic control devices, walking outside of the crosswalk and vehicles failing to yield to pedestrians who have the right of way. These efforts will continue in hopes of raising awareness and preventing collisions.

“With warmer weather upon us, we expect more people to be out on the streets, including after dark,” stated Support Bureau Commander Don Wood, “everyone should take extra precautions to ensure they aren’t distracted while on the roadway, whether operating a vehicle, motorcycle or on foot. With summer break underway, parents should also speak to their young ones about rules of the road, and actually teach them how to cross a street safely. This is something parents need to take seriously, as their child’s life could depend on it.”

Practicing the following safety tips may prevent you from becoming involved in a collision, and can save lives:

Pedestrians can:

  • Be predictable; follow the rules of the road, cross at crosswalks or intersections, and obey signs and signals.
  • Walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible if there is no sidewalk.
  • Pay attention to the traffic moving around you; this is not the time to be texting or talking on a cell phone. 
  • Don’t use ear buds in both ears; this could prevent you from hearing oncoming traffic.
  • Make eye contact with drivers as they approach; never assume a driver sees you.
  • Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials (or use a flashlight) at night.
  • Look left-right-left before crossing a street.

Drivers can:

  • Look out for pedestrians, especially in hard-to-see conditions during darkness, when the sun is in your eyes, or in bad weather.
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk where pedestrians are likely to be.
  • Stop at the crosswalk stop line to give drivers in other lanes an opportunity to see and yield to pedestrians also. 
  • Be cautious when backing up – pedestrians, especially young children, can move across your path. 

For more information on traffic safety, please contact the Long Beach Police Department’s Traffic Section at (562) 570-7209.