LA Plan Calls For Unarmed Civilians, Not Cops, To Perform Traffic Stops

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation released a draft outline of a report to the Los Angeles Times proposing that most traffic enforcement duties be performed by unarmed civilians.

The draft report, which has been in the works for three years, outlines a plan to reduce traffic deaths and safety concerns by means of narrower streets, more bike lanes and using civilians instead of cops to enforce traffic violations. It also called for the reduction of “pretextual stops,” which are stops made for minor traffic violations in search of larger crimes, such as searches for guns or drugs, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“As a city, we get an F grade for our traffic, for the amount of traffic violations and our ability to curb serious fatalities and injuries,” said executive director of Streets Are For Everyone, Damian Kevitt, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We have a public health traffic violence crisis,” Kevitt added.

The Los Angeles Police Department claims that 312 people were killed in traffic collisions last year, up 5% from 2021, according to the Los Angeles Times. Of those, 159 were killed in collisions with pedestrians, the data shows.

The plan was modeled after the Vision Zero initiative, implemented in 2015 by then-Mayor Eric Garcetti which saught to eliminate traffic deaths by utilizing self-enforcing infrastructure, or infrastructure that is intentionally planned to slow traffic. The new LA draft plan differs slightly from the Vision Zero initiative from 2015 in that it reduces the use of police officers to enforce “safety-related traffic violations”, similar to other traffic programs in Berkley, California, Oakland, and Philadelphia, according to the report.

LAPD Chief Michael Moore welcomes the idea, saying that “finding alternatives to a police response [to certain incidents] is something that the department is very much interested in,” he told the Los Angeles Times.

As directed by the Los Angeles City Council, LADOT hired a consultant team to study alternatives to armed traffic law enforcement and facilitate a community advisory task force to develop recommendations for the City to consider,” Colin Sweeney, public information director for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“The group has met multiple times since November 2022 and a final report is expected in the coming weeks. As the advisory task force work concludes, LADOT looks forward to working with the Mayor, City Council, partner City agencies, and residents to protect and advance safer streets,” Sweeney said.

The Los Angeles City Council did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.