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You and Your Car

January 02, 1988|Information compiled by Times researcher Cecelia Rasmussen

In December, the South Coast Air Quality Management District passed a rule imposing fines on companies with more than 100 employees that don't offer workers some incentives to car-pool or use mass transit. If successful, the plan could cut 740,000 vehicle trips off Southern California freeways and streets and reduce rush-hour congestion.

Earlier in the year, the City of Los Angeles passed a similar but less stringent ordinance that would be superseded.

New state laws that will also affect drivers in 1988, beginning Jan. 1 or before, include:

GRIDLOCK: It is now illegal for drivers to enter a blocked intersection, even if the light is green. The old law in California required drivers to go on the green. Violators in Los Angeles can be fined $53 for a first offense and up to $500 for successive violations.

DOGS: Dogs and other animals riding in the open bed of trucks must now be leashed, except on ranches and farms.

VIOLENCE: Anyone convicted of shooting a person from a vehicle will forfeit ownership of the vehicle and face an added five years on their state prison sentence.

GUNS: It is now a felony to brandish a gun in a vehicle except in self-defense.

REPORTING: Sale of cars and other vehicles must now be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles by the seller.

FREEWAYS: The state will study how much large trucks and Caltrans maintenance crews contribute to rush-hour congestion.

LOS ANGELES CITY DRIVING FACTS

There are 6,500 miles of streets and roads in the city.

Longest street: Sepulveda Boulevard, 30.8 miles

Number of intersections: 39,000

Busiest intersection: Westwood and Wilshire boulevards

Parking tickets written in 1987 by city traffic officers through November: 2,940,144

(About 40% pay fine without delay, 20% to 30% more pay after a warning notice, about 25 Denver boot immobilizing devices are installed each day to bring in recalcitrant owners.)

Twenty-one neighborhoods have established zones that require special permits for parking on residential streets. Fifteen other neighborhoods have asked for the permit system.

ACCIDENT INFORMATION through Nov. 14: 316 fatal accidents (down 4.2% from 1986).

Of those, 71 involved drunk drivers, 58 speeding, 55 motorcycles, 19 red light runners, 18 illegal left turns, 12 bicycles.

341 killed (down 3.1% from 1986).

Of those, 116 were pedestrians (up 2.6% from 1986), 37 of them senior citizens.

2,211 other accidents with serious injuries (down 6.4% from 1986).

Although accidents are down, fatal accidents involving drunk drivers are up 16.3% and injury accidents involving drunk drivers are up 8.2%, despite more arrests.

DOWNTOWN TRAFFIC:

About 1,435,000 people come downtown on an average weekday, in 334,000 cars, 27,289 trucks and 7,800 buses.

Peak traffic is between 3:30 and 6 p.m., when 89,000 cars and trucks and 1,500 buses are on the streets in the 1.1-square-mile central business district and Civic Center.

More than 20,000 cars hit the streets between 5 and 5:30 p.m. alone.

Between 1984 and 1990, about 87,000 new commuters are expected to be added downtown, adding 32,000 rush-hour cars and 980 buses.

In 1924, 1.2 million people came downtown a day--but 61% were on streetcars, trolleys and buses.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY DRIVING FACTS

There are 504 miles of freeway in L.A. County:

Vehicles registered in L.A. County: About 6 million.

Driving trips on an average day: 25 million, for 150 million miles.

Estimate of daily trips in 2010: 31.3 million, a rise of 6.3 million.

Motor vehicle thefts in L.A. County in 1986: 103,683 (half of all in California).

Insurance rates: for a good driver, they can range from $430 to $1,417, depending on residence and insurance carrier. This would include liability, collision and comprehensive coverage.

BUSIEST FREEWAYS IN THE COUNTY

TODAY

Ventura, in Encino: 237,800 vehicles per day.

San Diego, in Culver City area: 232,500 vehicles per day.

Harbor, in downtown L.A.: 227,400 vehicles per day.

Santa Ana, in East Los Angeles area: 220,300 vehicles per day.

San Diego, in Sepulveda Pass and Westwood area: 220,200 vehicles per day.

Hollywood, in Hollywood area: 217,200 vehicles per day.

IN THE YEAR 2005

(Projected by the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission)

San Diego, in Culver City area: 312,000 per day.

Ventura, in west San Fernando Valley: 293,500 per day.

Santa Ana, in East Los Angeles area: 280,300 per day.

San Diego, in Long Beach area: 268,000 per day.

Hollywood, in Hollywood area: 262,000 per day.

Harbor, in downtown L.A. area: 260,900 per day.

AVERAGE MORNING RUSH-HOUR SPEEDS

Today's speeds on key freeways, with projections for the year 2005 in ( ).

Ventura eastbound, 26 m.p.h. (7 m.p.h.).

San Diego northbound in Culver City area, 31 m.p.h. (14 m.p.h.).

Santa Ana northbound in East L.A. area, 26 m.p.h. (13 m.p.h.).

Santa Monica eastbound, 33 m.p.h. (26 m.p.h.).

TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Hours wasted a day in L.A. County: 485,000.

Gasoline wasted a year: 72 million gallons.

Yearly cost of delay in L.A. County: $507 million.

SOURCES include: L . A . P . D . , L . A . city Department of Transportation, L . A . County Transportation Commission, Automobile Club of Southern California and Southern California Assn. of Governments.

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