Transportation Safety

Overview

Transportation Safety Regional Existing Conditions

Understanding Transportation Safety

Southern California is home to roughly 19 million people, about half the entire state’s population, and 13 million licensed drivers. We rely on our cars, buses, rail lines, bicycles, and feet to get around. And we’re getting around a lot. We travel almost 430 million miles every day. That’s equivalent to 17,911 trips around the world every day. The thing is, we aren’t going around the world. We’re going to work, the grocery store, to visit our grandma, and to our child’s soccer game.

With all that traveling, it’s not surprising that mistakes are getting made. At the wrong moment, we might take a quick glance at a text message, rush to make it through a traffic signal, or forgo the intersection to cross midblock. The consequences of these mistakes can last a lifetime.

On average, each year in Southern California, 1,450 people are killed, 5,500 are seriously injured, and 124,000 are injured in traffic collisions. These numbers represent children, parents, spouses, relatives, and friends. These are people who were going about their typical day—again, heading to work, the grocery store, and to visit grandma. Collisions are happening in every community in our region, from El Centro in Imperial County to Malibu in Los Angeles County. They are happening to people who drive, and disproportionately to people who walk and bike. Low income and communities of color are also negatively impacted; a significant portion of SCAG’s High Injury Network, about 66 percent, exists in Disadvantaged Communities.

The State of California, SCAG, and local governments are committed to ensuring transportation safety for all people in our region. Each year, metropolitan planning organizations such as SCAG work with the state to develop annual safety targets to comply with federal requirements. We work together to assess fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads and set safety targets at the statewide and regional levels.

Using Data And Information to Make Better Transportation Decisions

We endeavor to use information and data to help us make better transportation decisions that result in fewer fatalities and serious injuries. We want to find solutions to make the region safer for everyone.

The first step is to acquire a perspective on our existing conditions. Specifically: What is happening? Where is it happening? When is it happening? Who is it happening to? And, most importantly—Why is it happening?

We developed a Transportation Safety Regional Existing Conditions Report and a StoryMap to provide answers to some of these questions.

We also publish a Transportation Safety & Security Technical Report every four years.

Fact Sheets

Transportation Safety County Fact Sheets are also available:

Imperial County
Los Angeles County
Orange County
Riverside County
San Bernardino County
Ventura County

Safety Targets

To comply with federal requirements, each February SCAG establishes safety targets for the five performance measures listed in the table below. SCAG has consistently adopted annual safety targets that are focused on achieving Toward Zero Deaths, and each year presents us with an opportunity to evaluate our progress.

SCAG’s 2021 targets are as follows:

Number of Fatalities:

1,622

Rate of Fatalities per 100 million Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT):

1.32

Number of Serious Injuries:

6,672

Rate of Serious Injuries per 100 million VMT:

5.45

Number of Non–motorized Fatalities and Non–motorized Serious Injuries:

2,212

Download the Regional Council February 4, 2021 Full Agenda Packet to view safety target approvals for 2021. You may also view the 2020 Transportation Safety Targets here.

Overview

Regional High Injury Network

High injury networks (HINs) include stretches of roadways where the highest concentrations of collisions occur on the transportation network. An HIN is intended to show where fatal and serious collisions are occurring in the region. An HIN, however, is not an assessment of whether a street or location is dangerous. Rather, an HIN suggests which corridors within a transportation network carry a higher risk of injury. When developing an HIN, jurisdictions typically want to identify a subset of the network where the most collisions are occurring (>50%). Developing an HIN can prove helpful for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Identifying areas of need;
  • Providing agency staff with more information on where they can focus limited resources;
  • Providing opportunities to understand how communities of concern or disadvantaged communities are impacted by higher rates of collision and serious injury; and
  • Assisting with building greater public and political support.

In 2018, SCAG developed its first regional HIN. In developing the HIN, SCAG reviewed HIN methodologies for a variety of jurisdictions including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Portland Metro. SCAG borrowed elements from their approaches to develop one that could work for the entire region. To learn more about SCAG’s regional High Injury Network, click here.

In 2020, SCAG convened a statewide working group to develop recommendations for High Injury Network (HIN) statewide guidance. The group was formed from members of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) Bicycle and Pedestrian Challenge Teams. This work was motivated by recommendations from California’s Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force and culminated in the development of this report, which includes a review of California HINs developed at the city, county, and metropolitan planning organization levels of government, and provides details on which components were included in each HIN and how they were created. Based on HINs reviewed, the report presents recommendations for statewide guidance on a definition and methodology for HINs. In September 2021, the report was shared with Caltrans and staff are currently reviewing the report and considering how the recommendations can be institutionalized into statewide guidance.

Overview

Get Involved

Safe and Active Streets Working Group

The Safe and Active Streets Working Group functions as a forum for SCAG staff to engage transportation safety and active transportation stakeholders in discussions regarding plans, programs, projects, tools, resources, and best practices that support reducing fatalities and serious injuries. Meetings occur on a quarterly basis and are open to agency staff, elected officials, and the public. More information regarding specific meetings and other regional planning working groups can be reviewed online here.

Transportation Safety Program

SCAG is available to work with local jurisdictions on issues related to transportation safety. To learn more about our technical assistance opportunities, please contact Courtney Aguirre at aguirre@scag.ca.gov or (213) 236-1990.

Go Human

Go Human is a community outreach and advertising campaign with the goals of reducing traffic collisions in Southern California and encouraging people to walk and bike more. SCAG hopes to create safer and healthier cities through education, advocacy, information sharing, and events that help residents re-envision their neighborhoods.

If you’re interested in getting involved, you can find more information on the campaign, make use of trainings and webinars, and request safety resources for your jurisdictions, such as the Go human Kit of Parts, and the Go Human Resilient Streets Toolkit.

Overview

Tools & Data

There are a variety of transportation safety-related tools and data, some of which are highlighted and linked to below.