Concerns About Street Safety on the Rise


The days of open roads and very little traffic are over as drivers venture back onto streets and highways returning to a somewhat normal life. People who were not in isolation but on the roads during the pandemic may have gotten used to driving a little faster than they normally would while others got used to driving a lot faster. Unfortunately many drivers have continued that habit even though more vehicles have returned to the roads.

On Aug. 25 at about 1 p.m. an 18-year-old man was driving his vehicle at a reportedly high rate of speed near the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Stocker Street when he lost control of his car. The vehicle sideswiped another vehicle that was traveling westbound on Stocker Street, collided with a bus bench, struck two pedestrians, sideswiped a business and then collided into an apartment building.

Luckily all involved suffered only minor injuries.

Earlier in the month, on Aug. 3, a fatal accident occurred at Andover Drive and Glenoaks Boulevard in Burbank. According to the Burbank police report, two vehicles, a Kia and a Mercedes Benz, were driving northbound on Glenoaks at a high rate of speed for several blocks, allegedly racing. Another vehicle, a Volkswagen, was attempting to turn left from southbound Glenoaks to eastbound Andover Drive when a collision occurred. Two males and one female in the Volkswagen, ranging in age from 19 to 21, were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, the only occupant of the Kia, sustained serious injuries and was transported. The two people in the Mercedes Benz did not report any injuries.

The number of drivers traveling faster than posted speed limits, street racing and driving recklessly are increasing throughout Los Angeles County.

“We have more reckless driving than racing on our streets [lately],” said Sgt. Ben Bateman, Glendale Police Dept.

He added the street racing officers are seeing in Glendale is more impromptu racing than the organized street racing in many other areas of the County, which include notices posted on social media.

“This is more when drivers pull up to a red light, rev [their] engines and both take off,” he said.

Sometimes the drivers know each other and sometimes they don’t. The number of drivers driving faster and racing has increased.

“They really spiked when the pandemic took hold and there was a lot less traffic,” he added.

Impaired drivers and distracted drivers are still an issue but most of the complaints Glendale officers receive are about people driving fast with little regard for others on the street.

“There are a lot of complaints we are getting from residents in neighborhoods [concerning] modified exhaust, no regard for stop signs and driving fast,” Bateman said.

Although some drivers are older most are in the range of 18 to 22 years old.

GPD patrol and traffic officers are all working to identify the drivers who are driving dangerously on roadways. There are also special traffic enforcement officers and motor officers. In addition, officers are focusing on school traffic since all schools have students who have returned to in-person learning. They have issued citations, and educated drivers, mainly parents, who are dropping off their children.

“Parents have to get back into the rhythm of back to school,” Bateman said. He added some parents do not drop off their children at designated drop off spots but let children out of their cars in unsafe areas.

Anyone who has issues with drivers speeding, racing or driving unsafely in their neighborhoods can contact GPD at (818) 548-4911 or, in the unincorporated areas of LA County-La Crescenta, contact LA Sheriff’s/Crescenta Valley Station at (818) 248-3464.