Just Another Sunday Morning in Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills car crash

Except it’s like so many other days in Beverly Hills: a violent crash on local streets. Just like the previous Thursday.

Beverly Hills car crash

One wag asked in the comments over at the department’s Instagram, “Why is everyone hauling ass and crashing in BH?”

That’s a great question! It is a question we’ve asked time and again of our Traffic & Parking commission and police department officials. Why can’t the department enforce our traffic laws? Read our memo to the commission about traffic safety in Beverly Hills. Consider the longtime decline in enforcement. Then ponder some more crashes as seen through the BHPD lens.

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Not one of these Beverly Hills Police Department Instagram posts came with the standard police advisory: “Slow down, speed kills.”

Traffic Citations Reach Record Lows in Beverly Hills in 2016

In my last post I charted police department collision injury data to show the extent to which collision injuries continue to mount in Beverly Hills. From 2008 though last year, police report that 3,805 people have been injured on city streets in collisions. The most protected travelers, auto occupants, have suffered record-high numbers of injuries. In this post I crunch police data for citations to show that enforcement of traffic laws has withered on the vine. Continue reading

Collision Injuries Reach Record-Highs in Beverly Hills in 2016

The holiday season always makes me mindful of the year drawing to a close. It has produced some noteworthy developments, including the involuntary retirement of incumbent councilmember (and bicycle lanes opponent) Nancy Krasne. And the succeeding multimodal-friendly City Council approved high-visibility bicycle lanes for Santa Monica Boulevard. Some things don’t improve however: our streets are still hazardous to travelers. Here I look back at last full year of traffic data (2016) to suggest the trends that suggest our city has much more work to do to get us safer streets. Continue reading

‘Police and Community Together.’ At the Coffee Shop!

BHPD logoPerhaps nowhere is it better to be a cop than here in Beverly Hills. With compensation packages for officers reaching $200k annually (plus a generous pension), easy shifts and a comfortable retirement, can it get any better than rolling the beat then finding yourself in a cozy booth at a local South Beverly Drive restaurant for a break? ‘Police and Community Together.’ That’s their motto! Continue reading

Qataris Behaving Badly? Let’s Focus on the Homegrown ‘Sheikhs’

Qatari scofflaw and his Ferrari

The infamous Qatari scofflaw and his Ferrari as ‘captured’ by Adam Bornstein.

What’s more ridiculous than wasting ink on the now-departed Qatari sheikh who hot-rodded around Beverly Hills this August? The fact that no ink is spilled about everyday reckless driving tolerated by city policymakers and police officials. Forget Mideast sheikhs behaving badly in their Ferraris and such; we’re got a homegrown haute bourgeoisie who feel entitled to spin around at high speeds on quiet residential streets in off-the-shelf sports cars. And they garner nary a glance from the cops. For come sunset, there is no traffic enforcement in Beverly Hills. Continue reading

How NOT to Make a Street Safety Video

dangerstoppers video titleWe watched the new City of Beverly Hills video ‘Watch Your Walk,’ part of the Dangerstoppers series co-produced by the Beverly Hills Police Department and the city’s Health and Safety Commission, because we were curious what kind of safety advice City Hall dispenses. And true to this trouble-titled video, pedestrians are admonished to take extra care because drivers are off-the-hook for their bad road behavior. Continue reading

BH Traffic Report for 2013: Little Progress on Road Safety

Traffic report thumbnailWhen we learned that Office of Traffic Safety ranked Beverly Hills worst among small cities for bike and pedestrian safety, we wanted to deep-dive the data* to understand how our city could do more to make streets safe. After digging into collision and enforcement data we come to the conclusion that city officials aren’t even trying to improve our low standing. The 36 bike-involved collision injuries reported to police last year even exceeds our 5-year annual average.  Shouldn’t we be making progress in reducing the harm? Continue reading

Red-Light Running is Epidemic in Beverly Hills

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Beverly Hills fun fact: red-light cameras have issued 5,841 tickets for a signal violation in only the first four months of this year. While drivers here love to run the red light, our traffic division doesn’t like citing them. In that same period only 108 signed citations were issued (merely 1.8% of the automated total). Can’t miss these law-breakers: at Wilshire & Canon alone about 2-3 drivers run the light at every light change. Why not cite them?

No Suspect in BH Attempted Murder

Road rage video #2 April 3rd.Six Weeks after a motorist attempted to kill a cyclist in a Beverly Hills alley, “the public leads have dried up,” BHPD Lt. Hoshimo told us today. Aside from a second video and even a third (all posted on the BHPD vimeo page)  there are no further developments. “It’s still under investigation,” he said. Seen the car? Know of a “male/Middle Eastern or White, mid 30’s with dark hair and dark eyes with a thin build” behind the wheel? Continue reading

Victoria Chin’s Day in Court: Anticlimactic

On June 12th 2011, Paul Livingston was riding his white Bianchi eastbound on Santa Monica Boulevard when he was struck from behind by motorist Victoria Chin right at Beverly Hills City Hall (Crescent Drive). She fled the scene. This serious collision not only totaled the bike – taco wheel, bent frame, cracked saddle – it sent Mr. Livingston to the hospital with a cracked pelvis and factured vertebra. Fortunately he’s not totaled and Paul and a handful of cyclists attended today’s preliminary hearing to – for the first time – hear the defendant face up to her crime.

BHPD Trying to Identify Road-Raging Motorist (Updated)

Beverly Hills Police Department have issued a media advisory yesterday concerning a vehicular assault occurring April 3rd 23rd at 5pm in an alley off the 9000 block of Wilshire. ‘Road rage’ hardly does this justice: in a continuation of a prior argument (in which the rider struck the motorist), the motorist actually doubles back to run head-on into the rider and pin him against a dumpster. With the rider hanging on to the door, the motorist then drives in reverse to dislodge the rider. You have to see it to believe it.

Beverly HIlls 2012 Log: Collisions Hold Steady, Enforcement Declines

chart of BH traffic data for 2012

Beverly Hills Traffic & Parking Commission received their usual monthly update from the Police department last week. According to last year’s data, injury collisions in Beverly Hills have held steady throughout 2012 with monthly fluctuation. But steady nonetheless. Police enforcement shows a decline throughout the year in three of four citation categories, however, and they seem to take a curious dip at the height of the summer in June (reference the light grey behind the trendlines). They also dip during the holiday season. While a decrease in collisions suggest less traffic on December roads, and possibly fewer violators, what could explain the sudden rise in citations so early in the year?

Getting Right with the Law: BHPD Pay Attention!

We follow up on our recent discussion about new laws signed by Governor Brown with a look at how our existing laws are sometimes mistakenly interpreted by law enforcement professionals. Beat officers don’t always have an intimate knowledge of every corner of the vehicular code, and perhaps those sections that do apply to those who choose to bicycle may not get a frequent workout. The problem is that when they do get a workout often it is to the disadvantage of those cited. Sometimes clearly biased or vindictive action by an officer that raises hackles. More often it’s simply unfamiliarity with the nuance of the code. Whatever the cause, the burden of proof is on the poor soul who is … Continue reading

Fatal Collisions Hit Grim Milestone

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BikingInLA notes the 30th cycling-related fatality in Southern California this year – and the seventh hit & run fatality to date. Here in Beverly Hills we’re working on getting timely collision data reported monthly (thanks to the BHPD). Stay tuned.

Update on our Motorist Battery Case

BHPD logo

We now mark 13 weeks since we provided the BHPD with an accurate plate # in a harassment, threat and battery case. Two weeks ago we looked at mug shots. If you file a traffic-related collision or batter report with BHPD, please let Better Bike know! < That was our original post. Now we have an update on our attempt to hold a hostile motorist accountable, but unfortunately to no satisfactory resolution. Read on!