Letters to the Editor: Make speeding drivers pay more for insurance to save pedestrians

Vision Zero protest
Traffic safety advocates hold a “die-in” on the steps of L.A. City Hall on Dec. 3 to protest the city’s lack of progress on Vision Zero.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As a car-less Angeleno whose transportation is my feet, buses and trains, and as someone who is constantly threatened by the careless car cultists, I agree that “we need to have a visionary plan” to reduce the growing pedestrian carnage.

That plan would be a statewide “pay how you drive” car insurance system that sets rates according to a driver’s technology-verified safe and moderate driving style of easy acceleration, minimal hard braking and habitual courtesy (Europeans call it “eco-driving”). This kind of driving happens to result in less pollution, decreased road noise and lower insurance costs for these moderate eco-drivers (and much increased costs for the fast and most aggressive motorists).

That will result in far fewer pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

Gregory Wright, Sherman Oaks


To the editor: Here’s an idea to improve traffic safety that won’t cost anything or require new equipment: How about requiring pedestrians to abide by the same cellphone rules, when they are crossing streets, that drivers have to obey?


How many times as a driver have you watched a pedestrian step into a crosswalk and stroll across the street, without so much as a glance at traffic, because they are focused entirely on the cellphone screen in front of them? Why shouldn’t they be required to stop what they are doing, just as drivers have to do when they get behind the wheel, while they are in a public roadway?

Yes, drivers must pay attention, but it’s time to stop this “distracted walking.” Crossing a busy street is no time to be FaceTiming your friends.

Barbara Lieberman, West Hills


To the editor: Our increasing fondness for highly lethal sport utility vehicles and trucks along with the complete lack of enforcement of speed limits is responsible for the slaughter on our streets.

California has banned, highly taxed or otherwise severely restricted many items on the grounds that if it saves one life, it’s worth it. When are we going to take real action to reduce traffic deaths?

Jim Winterroth, Torrance