Beverly Hills reviews traffic safety laws after LAPD cops killed

Beverly Hills traffic control officers restrict access to Loma Vista Drive following a tragic accident last Friday.
Beverly Hills traffic control officers restrict access to Loma Vista Drive following a tragic accident last Friday.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Traffic officers are preventing large trucks from using a steep, winding road in Beverly Hills after crashes there killed two Los Angeles police officers in three months.

City officials have put a 30-day moratorium on heavy-hauling trucks from rumbling down Loma Vista Drive, a scenic route that runs parallel to Coldwater Canyon Drive and provides easy access to Sunset Boulevard.

There are more than 100 active building permits for properties off Loma Vista and the streets that branch off it, said Beverly Hills Police Sgt. Max Subin. Any work that involved pouring cement or required a heavy trailer going down Loma Vista has been put on hold for the next month.

“At this point, they can still continue putting nails in the wood, they just can’t have any heavy-haul deliveries,” Subin said.


The moratorium was issued almost immediately after Friday’s crash, when a cement mixer driving south on the road lost control and killed LAPD Det. Ernest Allen, who was off duty and driving in the opposite direction.

In March, officer Nicholas Lee was killed and his partner seriously injured when the brakes failed on a tractor-trailer and slammed into their patrol car. The crash was only about 25 yards south of the one that killed Allen.

Both accidents occurred not far from a runaway truck ramp positioned at the bottom of the road. A large truck in April also lost control and crashed, taking out several parked vehicles and seriously injuring the truck’s driver.

The sudden surge in crashes has forced city officials to reexamine the road’s safety. Last week, Beverly Hills tapped engineering firm California, Fehr & Peers to submit a report by the end of the month recommending additional safety measures for the street.

Two city council members are schedule to meet Thursday at 9 a.m. with two traffic and parking commissioners to discuss other traffic safety measures for the area known as Trousdale. The meeting will be open to the public.

Beverly Hills police say they have been cracking down on Loma Vista drivers this year. Since Jan. 1, police have issued more than 100 tickets on Loma Vista and streets that branch off it, a total that includes about 65 citations for speeding and 12 for overweight vehicles, Subin said.

In October, three people were injured when a heavy truck lost control and crashed into nearby vehicles. Later that same month, a truck’s brakes failed but the driver managed to make it to the runaway truck ramp, Subin said.

There have been about 28 accidents on Loma Vista since January 2009. There have been seven crashes on the street since December 2012, not including last week’s wreck, Subin said.