With a staggering 29 percent increase in traffic caused fatalities and injuries in South L.A. (359 total compared to 279 last year at this time per LAPD) and 4,921 hit-and-run collisions so far this year (per LAPD), residents in South L.A. and SAFE took to the streets to demand change at the most dangerous intersection in Los Angeles -- Slauson & Western.
The event was called STOP the CARnage! It was held along with scores of other similar events in cities around the country as part of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday, November 15, 2020.
Two such residents who were impacted by this increasing traffic violence are Bibiana Diaz and Stephanie Vasquez.
On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 24-year-old Bibiana Diaz was riding her bicycle just ahead of her step-father, Jorge Guerra, and her three younger siblings, two-year-old Nathan, six-year-old Madelyn, and eight-year-old Carla, when she heard a loud crash and screams. As she looked around, she saw Jorge flying through the air and the driver that had just hit him speed away. Jorge suffered a traumatic brain injury and passed away on July 16th.
This is not the first tragedy that Bibiana experience due to traffic violence in South L.A. When she was 15 years old, her father, Carlos Villegas, was killed by a drunk driver on Mother's Day in 2011.
21-year-old Stephanie Vasquez is also standing up for safer streets in South L.A. On March 22, 2019, Stephanie's right leg was crushed by a hit-and-run, drunk driver who lost control and slammed into her as she entered her vehicle.
These South L.A. residents, along with dozens of others, joined together with Streets Are For Everyone on November 15th to demand that street safety be prioritized during this time and to remember those whose lives were lost.
Here are a couple of the news clips that covered our STOP the CARnage event at Western & Slauson in South L.A.
We reached about 30,000 people driving in cars or walking by in the 3 hours that the event was running and with media coverage, we reached a total of 1.4 million people with the message of safer streets!
As a result of our STOP the CARnage event and its media coverage, the City of Los Angeles contacted us to say plans are in the works to address the intersection of Slauson & Western to make it safer for all road users and help reduce the fatalities and injuries on this corridor!
A follow-up article to this event was also published across Southern California News Group addressing the drastic increase in traffic collisions during the pandemic and SAFE's response to this. Read more in the link below.
This was all thanks to all of YOU and your support throughout the year and we have so much more planned!
If you would like to end the year with a tax-deductible donation to our efforts, please visit paypal.me/StreetsR4Every1 or www.streetsareforeveryone.org and click the big blue button on the homepage.
For more photos from our STOP the CARnage event, click here.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
-- The Streets Are For Everyone Team