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January 26, 2013 | Steve Lopez
I got into a minor fender-bender once near downtown Los Angeles and suggested to the other driver that we pull off the highway and deal with the matter on a safer city street. She said OK, then disappeared. Was she uninsured, or maybe unlicensed? It wouldn't be surprising. A national study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that unlicensed drivers are much more likely to leave the scene of an accident. And the California Department of Motor Vehicles recently reported that unlicensed drivers are three times as likely to cause a fatal crash as licensed drivers.
May 3, 2010 | Steve Lopez
If you happen to be one of the countless numbskulls out there who text while driving and talk on cellphones without hands-free devices, too distracted to know red from green or fast from slow, I've got news for you, Cookie. LAPD traffic officer Kamaron Sardar is going to get you. He's observant. He's motivated. He's good. And I am going to cheer him on. I was not exactly deputized, but on the theory that four eyes are better than two, I went out last week with Sardar to catch annoyingly distracted drivers, and you know who you are. Did you not get the memo, nearly TWO YEARS AGO, that it's illegal to talk on a phone without a hands-free device?
October 9, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
As rain fell on Los Angeles on Wednesday, authorities warned drivers to beware of slick roads and to give themselves more time to reach their destinations. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department issued a notice Wednesday reminding drivers that the first rain of the season causes oils on the road "to come to the surface and cars to slide and crash. " As of 11:45 a.m., the California Highway Patrol said there were two SigAlerts in effect for the Los Angeles area: one on the northbound 2 Freeway to the westbound 134 Freeway, the another on the southbound 710 Freeway near Del Amo Boulevard.  The National Weather Service in Oxnard predicted scattered showers in the region throughout Wednesday, with a slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon.  "Most areas will probably get around a tenth of an inch or less," said weather service meteorologist Scott Sukup.
March 31, 2014 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
DARRINGTON, Wash. - Before the catastrophic landslide killed at least 24 people and severed the main highway out of town, it took about 30 minutes to drive from this mountain community west to Arlington. Now that State Route 530 is blocked by debris up to 70 feet high - including mangled cars compacted to the size of small refrigerators - it can take three hours. Aside from a lengthy northern detour, intrepid drivers can use Mountain Loop Highway, a harrowing, rutted road that saves an hour but can take at least that much time off your life.
December 22, 2010 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times
Obese drivers are more likely to die in a serious car wreck than drivers of normal weight, a new study says. Researchers at the University at Buffalo in New York examined drivers' body sizes and the number of car crash deaths between 2000 and 2005 from data in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The study calculated an increased risk factor of dying at 21% for moderately obese drivers and 56% for morbidly obese drivers. The lead researcher says crash test dummies that are obese might help.
April 10, 2013 | By Laura J. Nelson
Last year, carpool lanes on a portion of the 110 Freeway were converted to toll lanes. Preliminary data show average travel speeds have increased in the lanes formerly reserved for carpoolers, but traffic has slowed on the rest of the freeway. So for solo drivers paying up to $15.40 per trip, the new toll lanes are providing a faster commute. More than 135,000 motorists have purchased FasTrak transponders since the toll lanes opened. Officials have collected more than $3 million in tolls along an 11-mile stretch of the Harbor Freeway, south of downtown.
June 18, 2013 | By Catherine Green
Most American drivers say they've been burned more than once by their GPS navigation systems, according to a new survey commissioned by Michelin. In the online survey of 2,200 drivers, 63% reported being taken off track an average of 4.4 times since starting to use global positioning systems. Younger adults between 18 and 34 said they'd been given wrong directions 6.3 times. An unfortunate 7% of motorists were misdirected more than 10 times. The fallibility of GPS systems is “something that we all kind of think [is true]
February 15, 2012 | By Robert J. Lopez, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles police are advising motorists to avoid major thoroughfares on the Westside because of President Obama's visit. Motorists are urged to avoid Pico Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars until about 6 p.m., as well as Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., drivers are advised to stay away the area around Sunset Boulevard and Beverly Glen and Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards. Obama landed at Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday about 4 p.m..
February 24, 2014 | By Robert Greene
Los Angeles actor Michael Shen notes that he and his wife have talked about getting bikes. But as he looks out his car window at L.A. traffic, he makes it clear: “I would never cycle with the drivers out here, to be perfectly honest.” Shen is one of millions of drivers in Southern California who for years had the streets to themselves, at least psychically. Of course there have always been bike riders on the road. But their burgeoning numbers over the last few years have made some drivers more careful, some defensive and some downright angry.
August 3, 2013 | By Laura Nelson
Traffic on the Moraga Drive offramp on the northbound 405 Freeway was already backed up early Saturday - a sign of what motorists can expect over the next four months. That's how long the northbound Sunset Boulevard offramp will be closed as work continues on a freeway widening project. Moraga is the next exit after Sunset. The offramp will be closed until Dec. 1 as crews build a longer exit, which officials say will add 60% more capacity in one of the Westside's most congested intersections.
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