Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
The deadly toll of street racing in Los Angeles (latimes.com)
111 points by wallflower on March 16, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 93 comments

The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) was founded to get racing off the California streets in 1951. Virtually all the drag strips this sanctioning body promoted races at in urban areas have closed (Lions was a famous track in Long Beach sponsored by the Lions club to get racers off the streets for example).

Today youtube is full of street racing for money videos and there is a whole genre of fake reality TV shows about street racing glamorizing it. Examples



The NHRA needs to get back to their core remit and support more legitimate racing venues and local authorities need to help this to happen. There is a thriving electric street drag racing scene too as traction control on Teslas makes it much easier to launch and go fast with no talent, winning races.

The NHRA is effectively on life-support, or at least on galantamine.

I grew up in the Nor-Cal racing scene and my family owned 2 dragsters (Only 1 of which worked at a time). Many many Wednesday nights were spent at Sears Point [0] racing our beaters against each other and chewing on those god-awful hot-dogs. Hot August Nights were one of the few vacations my Dad took, mostly to go place '9ers bets in Reno, but still.

The NHRA scene is just too 'rich' and old for the teens. I don't mean in terms of just money, but also in terms of intelligence and experience. The teens can't compete with the older Boomer and the Boomers think they are just idiots. Fact is, they are; but it's only because they are young and inexperienced. If the Boomers would find the wherewithal to just invite the kids over and talk, they'd find a lot of common ground. Also, the teens all speak Spanish and the white Boomers tend to be Trumpy.

But their cars are also not as easy to muck with. A 2005 Scooby has a ton of computers and other crud in them. Yes, the aftermarket ODBII cards can help, but it's almost a cheat. This goes for all the regs California has now (smog, etc). There is a lot to learn about modern cars and not a lot of teachers (WyoTech at Las Modanas is pretty good, actually, but rare). Again, the Boomers neglected to teach the next generation.

Still, NHRA events and the SCCA are just too old. They have 'dances' on the weekends, but they play The Supremes and The Beatles. If you tried to play anything off the charts today, you'd get screamed at and have a gun waved in your face. I doubt they even know about Spotify. Then the pit fees and the tire fees start adding up, let alone race-gas and the Nomex suits (SCCA here). The weekend to weekend costs are just too much for working at BestBuy, especially if you don't have the tools already. The upfront capital is insane.

So, what do they do? Sideshows and the like. They go out on the street, where else? Tracks are not welcoming.

Are they dangerous as all get out? Yes.

Do the girls pay attention?


Well, then, who cares how dangerous it is!

What choice do they have?

[0] Sonoma/Infinion Raceway my ass. It will always be Sears Point.

I'm in that scene too and have a fairly major car addiction issue...and know all about Sears Point Wednesday nights.

The NHRA collects annual dues from a huge number of elderly racers across the USA, which keeps them fat and lazy... and is also the sanctioning body for the increasingly divorced from reality 'big show' nitro car traveling circus, which is in reality a small number of multimillionaire team owners (Kalitta, Arab Sheiks and sponsorship hustlers) fielding multiple cars. All good fun live but hopeless for the average joe in a Honda who wants to race. It's all at a bit of a crisis point and the drifting/sideshow mayhem doesn't help at all...

I think the part about cars being less approachable these days is huge. Sure, you can get your ECU chipped or whatever and magically get full, non-environmentally-friendly power out of your car. But past that, you're looking at serious money to install and tune some aftermarket MOTEC ECU or something.

Yes and no. A Fox body mustang beater, a few trips to pick n pull for turbochargers etc and a couple of thousand dollars spent at a speedparts vendor such as https://www.summitracing.com http://www.jegs.com

will furnish you with an extremely fast race car. Things get spendy when you start getting into electronics, to go seriously fast previous era engineering is arguably cheaper and faster.

The TV shows that promote racing on the streets were challenged by the NHRA in 2015.


These TV shows are a disgrace and are getting gullible viewers killed emulating a fake show racing their commuter cars on the streets

Gutted Tesla street racing https://youtu.be/ARzujfRiQ3c 4.5 million youtube views...

To be fair to them, this looks like it is at night in a closed off road to what appears to be an industrial complex. About as safe as you can get, save a drag strip. They also had lighting and people all down the strip.

Most races take place in these style locations. Lining the street with spectators is what gets them killed. No crash guards or other defences.

Most local drag strips I have been to aren't much better. If you are going to watch cars go over 100 mph, there's always a risk.

Interesting. I bet Tesla keeps telemetry on the use and gps location of these races/launch mode. I wonder if cops could subpoena the records if they have evidence that a Tesla was there.

These races, also intersection take overs and drifting are very dangerous not to mention illegal. I think YouTube and Facebook should shut down the streams and deny monetization.

Surely they would need to know which Tesla was there and subpoena those records specifically?

Probably not, if they have evidence of a Tesla committing a crime, and evidence that Tesla could tell them which one, they can subpoena for “all Teslas that exceeded 100mph in this neighborhood on this day”

I think these guys are smart enough to strip out everything that is not race winning related - Teslas are heavy...

There is a big NIMBY issue for drag strips that are not in the middle of nowhere because of high noise levels.

I can't really say that sounds unreasonable. do we really need drag strips within the city limits? by definition, the participants have cars.

no kid is going to drive an hour+ and pay $100 fee to go race they will set up on some street that's closer and free. also, the street races gather huge crowds of other younger people (girls) so nobody wants to go pay to race where none of their friends are watching.

Arguably we should set up drag strips (formal, or perhaps impromptu where feasible to do safely) in easy to reach locations, charge nothing for entry, and often.

that's what the NHRA did in 1951, we've come full circle...

But also, by definition, anything other than the basic stock car is illegal to street in California.

dang, so literally any tune or other aftermarket mods are not street legal in CA? another reason not to move to SV I guess.

Why would anyone want their family's sleep to be disturbed?

Why should a family be allowed to buy a recently built house by a motor racing track and then get the track closed down? That is essentially what has happened...

I assumed the person I was responding to was referring to building race tracks where the noise could affect others.

I worked on the data analysis for this story, which was published at a Jupyter Notebook of Python code.


If you have any questions, shoot.

Do you have suggestions on how I might find information about the _total_ numbers of traffic related fatalities in LA during similar times? (I'm interesting in knowing what fraction of car-related deaths are due to street racing.)

For example, 2016 had 260 deaths from car accidents from one source [0], and only 11 of those were from street racing, less than 5%. (It's possible that the article I linked counted deaths differently than the data you were working with, though, so it's hard to compare the two.) Street racing related deaths are tragic (especially as half of them are _not the drivers_), but I wonder if we are spending proportionally similar amounts to prevent the larger pie-slice of automotive deaths.

Good grief, I feel so callous even asking this kind of question. :-/

0: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-2016-traffic-dea...

I don't think it's callous at all. In fact, it's a sort of higher order empathy. If the goal is to save as many lives as possible, then this is exactly the right way to think about these things.

It's like how most Americans are more likely to die from obesity related diseases than terrorism, but we spend orders of magnitude more resources trying to prevent terrorism.

That is a bad comparison. My weight is under my control, and I don't want the government to interfere. Preventing terrorists from getting in the country and committing attacks is something I expect the government to do.

I think it is highly unlikely to be true, but it could be that the money spent fighting terrorism saves millions of lives every year. That would make it a bargain.

Similarly, if there were no attempt to stop street racing (not even speed limits), we _might_ see thousands more deads due to street racing every year.

If that were true you can compare back to when we didn't spend money on fighting terrorism. Has it changed much? No not really. Terrorism is not a (major) problem in the world if looking at major causes of human loss of life.

Neither is street racing.

Also, I didn’t argue that; I just pointed out that “few people die today, so we shouldn’t spend much money fighting it” isn’t a valid argument because the truth could be “few people die today because we spend so much money fighting it”.

Not callous at all. We all have a limited amount of attention to pay to things, and as a society we have a limited amount of political and monetary capital to direct at problems. So we should focus on those problems that yield the biggest bang for the buck.

The media is frequently a bad actor in this. Since humans aren't generally good at assessing risk, value propositions like "How to keep your kid from being struck by lightning! Film at 11!" are actively counterproductive. I believe media has an ethical responsibility to allocate their resources and grab eyeballs in line with the magnitude and tractability of the problems they cover, but that's not what sells ad spots. :-(

There's a state database compiled by CHP called SWITRS that tracks traffic accidents. You can find it here. http://iswitrs.chp.ca.gov/Reports/jsp/userLogin.jsp

We don't call it out by name in the story, but it's the kind of existing government system that could be expanded to provide a better, official count of street racing deaths.

Our Los Angeles Times team has mined SWITRS in the past for other stories, like these:



AP style guidance prefers ‘crash’ to ‘accident’ jfyi

In deaths per mile driven, even a single victim every few years would make street racing the low hanging fruit.

This article (http://ktla.com/2017/04/03/l-a-traffic-deaths-rose-43-percen...) says there were 260 traffic fatalities in 2016 on LA's streets. From the street racing article it appears that roughly 11 of those were related to street racing? So 5% ?

I appreciate your effort to bring some context to the analysis.

However, as we unpack in the story, our total is likely an undercount due to the problems in tracking street racing related crashes.

Just as a reference, I found this statement in a thesis [1]:

> In the event of a collision, neither drivers nor passengers are willing to admit to engaging in street racing. This can partially explain the low incidence of casualties due to street racing reported in the literature. For example, the Office of Traffic Safety in California, in one of its recent publications, acknowledged that fatalities and injuries due to illegal street racing are significantly underreported due to the issues with reporting and suggested a need for a reporting system reform.

Basically, in some of the crashes, the participants are unlikely to call 911. And it's possible that some of the normal (non-street racing) crashes/fatalities are actually street racing-related.

[1] https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3107&conte...

And I appreciate that folks have gone out and tried to analyze something which has not been really visible before. Let's say it is 3x more likely, that means its 15%.

I think the story is important and meaningful, I feel the narrative it supplies is disingenuous.

A lot of people die on streets due to cars. That we do track, both motor vehicle and pedestrian fatalities. It is a stupidly large number.

The narrative that "we", the community, the society, the people who exist in the same space and time, need to do something about "this" is, for me, a function of impact.

The ability for the community to take action is a limited resource. There is only so much tax money, there are only so many cops, there is only so much technology. And we have to choose where that finite resource is invested in order to maximize the protection, health, and well being of the community from which that resource is drawn. Because I see the problem this way, any narrative that suggests investing a larger fraction on a smaller problem, makes me wonder how much worse the other problems those resources had been applied to becomes when we take them away to focus on this smaller problem.

So I would ask the people, are you prepared to have over all vehicle fatalities double while fatalities due to street racing go to zero? When street racing is 5, 10, 15, even 25 percent of the problem that calculus means more dead people, more people losing children and loved ones to a vehicle fatality.

There are at least 5 direct calls for resources in that article[1]. They are calls for more police, more tracking, more infrastructure. It is a simple and common narrative, "My problems are really important so you should agree to spend more money on them rather than the other things you are spending them on."

Anyone who has lived in California for a while realizes that there are only two choices, raise taxes to increase the size of the resource pool (and then have factions fight over the raises) or let some existing priority slip while you focus on a different one.

It is also annoying (but understandable) to me that these articles cluster around the March/April time frame because that is after the Governor has submitted their budget and the legislators are figuring out where to send the money.

If the article was arguing for more resources on vehicle fatalities, I could understand that. We've got way too many people who don't even follow basic road rules. So if you spent all your taxes on that and no additional on the street racing scene and achieved a 10% reduction in fatalities you would have saved more lives than completely wiping out street racing would. That makes it a better investment overall for a limited resource.

[1] Passages in the article that suggest that applying more resources to this problem would ameliorate it:

A few law enforcement agencies have assigned officers to the task force. But some agencies say they lack manpower.

Efforts to place a similar unit in the Valley, another racing hot zone, were abandoned for lack of staff, a street racing investigator said.

“You can’t solve a problem that you don’t measure,” Englander said.

Neither the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department nor the Long Beach Police Department, two of the largest agencies in the region, have officers assigned to the county task force.

County deputies are being trained to recognize vehicles that have been modified for racing, but, Det. Christine Ostrander said, “our deputies are just overworked, understaffed.”

Well said and absolutely agreed.

Based on the numbers presented, even with the "these numbers are conservative" caveat, focusing resources on this doesn't make sense.

"In 2010 and 2011, 161 and 130 drunk driving fatalities occurred in Los Angeles County, respectively." [1]

So almost a 14:1 drunk driving fatality to street racing ratio. Even if the street racing numbers are way off, they'd have to be 14x as large to have the same impact as DUI.

Which somewhat stands to reason. I assume street racers aren't in the habit of (1) wrecking their expensive and carefully modified cars & (2) dying. Given their interest in racing, I'd even hazard to say they're likely better drivers on average than the (admittedly terrible) public.

[1] https://www.sjclaw.com/Resources-and-Media/Articles/How-many... (claims to be NHTSA data)

No questions, I just wanted to say this is really cool seeing the data with analysis in its final form. I wish more articles included data like this.


If you're a Python person, I'd love to hear what you think of how I structured the notebook.

There isn't a set style for writing these and I've been experimenting with different forms lately.

In this case, I pushed back some of the bigger code chunks into separate Python modules.

There are more legitimate outlets. SCCA Autocross / Solo II events are a fun way to race in a controlled environment. Most courses are one car at a time, in parking lots set up to keep people under 40mph and are more about skill than speed.

People who really get hardcore into Autocross sometimes move on to road courses, buying roll cages and paying fees (or if you're lucky, finding a sponsor) to race against others on a closed track.

At some SCCA events you'll see all the legit autocrosses lined up and all the kids with their fast/furious wanna be shit rides around the outside. Once when we were going over the rules, one such car pulled in and the organizer said, "Looks like there's another one for the cardboard wing class." and we all laughed.

So at least some of these racers know about these events and just don't participate, but really these kids should be encourage to join more legit events, take on Solo II or drag racing or rally cross, and yea .. it will take some more money and time, but you'll get involved with a group of people who aren't idiots and who are responsible about their motorsports. If you do something stupid and wreck, at least you only hurt yourself and not some kid on the street.

> At some SCCA events you'll see all the legit autocrosses lined up and all the kids with their fast/furious wanna be shit rides around the outside. Once when we were going over the rules, one such car pulled in and the organizer said, "Looks like there's another one for the cardboard wing class." and we all laughed.

That kind of attitude is a big reason why SCCA events don't attract more people. Hey SCCA dude - we all know the E30 you track is legit, but you don't have to be a dick about it to people who have different tastes...

“but really these kids should be encourage to join more legit events”

It sounds like you were so close to engaging them, but decided to call them the “cardboard wing class” and laugh.

I’ve been in both of these groups over my lifetime, and I genuinely believe they can be bought together. Young guys with a bit of rebellious attitude may need someone to reach out and show them how much fun they can have legally learning how to handle their cars.

Street racing is akin to a Drag race. Autocross type circuit events are more technical with tight corners and I suspect many street racers won't be interested in them. A better solution is to increase access to drag strips. I believe many PD's in Nevada and Florida already do events like this https://jalopnik.com/5236317/drag-race-a-cop-in-beat-the-hea...

If autocross isn't your thing, High Performance Driving Events are great fun. They're generally on bigger circuits so you can get to higher speeds but they're safe and there's no traffic (except for the other racers). Generally, the HPDE crowd doesn't care what you drive either. It's a very relaxed community just looking to enjoy racing.

The problem is that these events tend to be expensive.

It's $400 for a HPDE day at my local track, and it's done on a weekday so I gotta take the day off of work.

Racing on the streets is free.

I would budget more like a grand, minimum. A few hundred in gasoline, two or three hundred in tire wear (depends entirely on the cost of the tires, obv), brake wear, etc. Not to mention the potential of physical damage that won't be covered by regular insurance, so if you want to buy track insurance that will be a couple hundred more.

I do love taking my car out to the track, but my wallet feels it every time.

179 people over 17 years? In a major metropolitan city? That doesn't seem like much of a problem at all.

Yes, "Out of Control" seems a bit exaggerated in this context.

For some comparison, 14,156 people died of cancer in 2014 [1] in Los Angeles county alone. There were 58 gun-related deaths in just 4 months in LA [2].

[1] https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/online-documen...

[2] https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/10/06/us/las-vegas-...

> Yes, "Out of Control" seems a bit exaggerated in this context.

it's also a 'catchy' title when talking about losing control of a car..

It's also sensationalist clickbait and why we can't have nice things in modern media.

For some perspective: someone drowns in Orange County (pool, bathtub, etc...) every 9 days. That's 689 people over the same period. Is bathing out of control? This article is fear-mongering nonsense. Or at the very least, the title is.


In the same vein, just imagine how much money we could save if we get to say "300 people this year? More people died this month in car accidents. There's no need to do anything." every time a plane crashes.

I suspect the death toll from aviation might be a bit higher if that's how we responded to plane crashes...

The death toll from aviation is high, just not the death toll when you only look at major passenger lines. Add in GA, and the numbers stop looking so sweet.



I would imagine buses compare favourably to small cars also. GA pilots have less monitoring, and are more likely to be involved in many of the same activities that cause car crashes, but in the air. And more likely to be manually flying also.

The argument was never "planes are inherently safer than cars" but rather "commercial passenger flights are safer than cars because of all the precautions (human and technical) we take"

I suspected that you were right, and doing a bit of research, you definitely are. The rate of fatalities in busses is quite low compared to cars and light trucks.


Don't hold your breath for the next (commercial) plane crash: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-aviation-safety-201801...

My thought exactly. Hardly a crisis. Best course of action: do nothing. But I’m sure there is somebody out there advocating for more enforcement, stricter fines, or even more authoritarian measures.

Yeah that's a overblown title. It reminds me of when someone dies at a rave and suddenly it's public health crisis according to news headlines.

Seriously, it's a pretty terrible header when it takes away most of the supposed impact of the article before I even start reading it.

yeah seriously. I'm sure McDonalds kills many many orders of magnitude more people and no one talks about that.

Well, it highlights the extreme cases of the more pervasive problem: Aggressive driving, which is a factor in the majority of traffic fatalities.

179 fatalities, specifically related to street racing? ~10 a year? How many other accidents and just dangerous crap is happening on an ongoing basis for that many fatalities to occur?

What would you expect to be 'much of a problem'? 10,000?

> What would you expect to be 'much of a problem'? 10,000?

Something closer to that than 10 is, considering the total number of people and leading causes of death, at least until we figure out a way to come up with infinite resources.

You will notice that the police, on the one hand say that street racing is incredibly dangerous and puts innocent lives at risk (not just the racers), and at the same time, justify high speed chases, risking pedestrians lives for the sake of catching petty criminals.

Young people don't make the best decisions. But televised high speed chases (fictional and real) sure look cool and exciting to me.

Finally, San Diego has reduced street racing by providing a cheap, legal outlet for it. [1] But we used to have more drag strips and tracks. They get closed down as real-estate needs expand. If I want to road race, the nearest tracks require driving through LA.

To be clear, I'm not making excuses for kids. I'm not saying "well they should be allowed to race because they can't elsewhere" or "we should be lenient on them". I'm absolutely against street racing.

So, in conclusion, give racers more legal opportunities on the one hand, and stop glorifying/titilating/excusing car chases on the other.

[1] https://www.sandiego.gov/stadium/event/tenants/racelegal

> You will notice that the police, on the one hand say that street racing is incredibly dangerous and puts innocent lives at risk (not just the racers), and at the same time, justify high speed chases, risking pedestrians lives for the sake of catching petty criminals.

Well, except that over the last few decades, high speed chases have fallen out of favor, and most police agencies have adopted very restrictive pursuit policies.

Doesn't appear to be the case in Southern California - I see one on TV pretty much every time I'm down there...

> Doesn't appear to be the case in Southern California

It definitely is for every non-federal LE agency in Southern California.

> I see one on TV pretty much every time I'm down there...

Yes, SoCal is a region with close to 25 million people; things that are done on extremely limited circumstances with tight controls still do happen somewhere in that region with some frequency, and are note worthy enoguh that they get covered by TV news.

Isn't the high speed nature of those chases tied to a helicopter in the air with police on the ground maintaining more reasonable chase speeds? That's generally what I've seen in LA police chases.

Data says no. First link has historic data, showing no reduction in the last three decades. The data shows that restrictive policies do reduce death, but that hasn't translated into measurable difference across the nation. Indeed, they found some police departments moving to more permissive chase policies.



> First link has historic data, showing no reduction in the last three decades.

The movement (including within the LE community) mostly was one of concern without concrete action till the early 2000s, and the wave of new restrictive policies came in the 2000s.

Even ignoring that, the chart in the link you provides shows much less growth over it's 30 year period than would be expected if the practice remained equal in danger over a period where population increased by ~40%.

"The chances of dying in a crash in a late-model vehicle have fallen by more than a third in three years ... Improved vehicle designs and safety technology have a lot to do with the continuing decline in fatality risk." [1]

So, no, there are other factors reducing fatalities.

  [1] http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/50/1/1

179 people since 2000 is not a lot for LA? That's ~10 annually, or 0.00025% of the population. The total traffic fatality rate is about 240-260/year[0], or ~25x that. It seems remarkable that street racing is only ~4% of the total.

I guess the idea is that these deaths are preventable? So are the rest of the traffic fatalities. These deaths are caused by adolescents making irrational choices? That's probably not unique to this type of collision either.

I don't understand the goal of the focus piece other than to shift blame off the majority of traffic fatalities onto some unlikable population (street racers) that isn't actually responsible for a large portion of the deaths.

[0]: https://www.dailynews.com/2018/01/30/traffic-deaths-in-la-ar...

as an Angeleno myself, i have to say the statistic seem par for a city of more than five million.

street racing is an easy demon to hunt in Los Angeles as its a rule that only a few people break but that has a high profile due to its nature. Its flashy and comes with its own set of blockbuster movies and spinoffs. Cops would enjoy a bit of high speed sports car chase I suspect...not so much cranking out tickets for low speed fender benders though perhaps.

Target something like distracted driving and you'll find far fewer of us are willing to tolerate the kind of crackdown required to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities related to it. We love to text and drive, talk on our cellphones, and even read our e-books while stuck in traffic. Then again who knows. Many of us would appreciate seeing the CHP print up a few fresh ones for the classic and clueless luxury sedan drivers mashing away at their iphones and ignoring the green light.

Are you a local (like grew up in LA) or just live there now? I grew up there (5th generation) - I remember street racing being a big deal in my teen years and I think some investment in educating the youth would be worthwhile. 3 kids from my school I grew up with were killed in a street race in 11th grade. Sure, if it's this or that sort of thing, invest in the distracted drivers, but I think the county can work on both...

You're right of course. We have the resources to solve multiple problems at once. This is the problem with people who say Elon Musk is wasting his energy trying to get to Mars. That isn't happening at the expense of cancer research. We're doing both.

Real change happens when people get involved. Yes, cancer or obesity kill more people in LA than street racing. Saying that doesn't do anything to help victims of street racing crashes, cancer or obesity.

If we see a problem we should make an individual value judgement and get involved in fixing it if we think it is important and we can help. It doesn't have to be the biggest problem to be worthwhile effort.

Why pick on luxury sedan drivers?

> 17 years. 179 victims.

260 total deaths from all car crashes in 2016 alone. If street racing is out of control, just plain driving is off the charts.

Who is downvoting this and why?

I think if you compare crash-per-mile-driven or crash-per-hour those figures won't even be in the same universe.

Transportation is not the point of street racing, so of what possible significance would that comparison be?

They both involve the same activity--operating a motor vehicle in a city environment. Besides, the original comparison was between transportation and street racing!

The original comparison was between two dangerous activities, not between two dangerous modes of transportation the danger of which might be informatively amortized across the quantity of transportation provided.

> They both involve the same activity--operating a motor vehicle in a city environment

That is not the same activity. You have generalized so far beyond the original point it no longer makes sense.

Is a speed eating competition where you eat as many hotdogs as possible in a NY hot dog establishment the same activity as making homemade salad with your family at home?

They're both "eating food in a city" right? They are not the same activity, and street racing is not the same activity as commuting home or going to the store for toilet paper.

"Vision Zero is working in partnership with the City of Los Angeles to end all traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2025."


The goal isn't to minimize deaths per mile driven or per hour, it's to eliminate deaths period.

That's a lofty goal, and probably impossible with the improvements they are suggesting. Just reducing speed (increasing congestion) and installing more traffic lights/crosswalks won't eliminate all traffic deaths.

To actually accomplish something like that you would need to radically redesign the city. Eliminate non-autonomous cars, build a really first class subway system (bus accidents are a thing!), go all-in on elevated walkways, invent some kind of really effective suicide counseling, etc...

That said, even if they "fail" and only eliminate 90% of the traffic fatalities/major injuries that's still a big win IMHO.

I think speed reduction is the biggest. Yes, zero does sound almost impossible. US commercial air travel had zero deaths in 2017, so that should give some confidence.

Commercial air travel doesn't have to deal with pedestrians.

That's basically my option B from above. Ban all surface transportation and massively expand the subway system. Also redesign the subway system so it can deliver packages now. Absolutely no chance in hell of getting that done by 2025. Oh, and also redesign all subway platforms so people can't use them to commit suicide.

Or maybe they're trying the London option and making gridlock so bad that no car ever gets enough speed to seriously injure a pedestrian.

I've been noticing a lot of "down vote wars" on HN lately. I can't tell if it's the increase in users (popularity) or the posts/climate that are becoming more unreasonable. Chicken and egg problem.

You're getting downvoted because driving and street racing are totally incomparable.

Street racing is a distinct, illegal, reckless behavior with no possible upside (for society) whatsoever. Even worse, many of the victims are not involved in the driving - those victims were slaughtered randomly. Their lives were risked with no possible benefit for anyone.

The fatalities for street racing should be zero, because it shouldn't be happening. It's really fucking annoying that I put my life at risk every time I drive on the 10 (or anywhere else) and there are other drivers who are deliberately increasing that risk.

Reckless driving with fatalities is murder. That should be your comparison.

The part I hate most about these stories is it's a waste of life for everyone involved. Assuming the driver isnt a psychopath of some sort they will probably be regretting this every moment for the rest of their life which may be mostly in prison. Manslaughter is manslaughter but I wish we had an ethical way to reform these criminals. In terms of society impact its as if more people died that night than actually did.

179 people in 17-18 years...basically no one.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact