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Long Beach Police Department will focus on moving violations as deadly collision rate remains high

The Long Beach Police Department has decided to implement changes in its response to traffic collisions in the wake of a deadly year that saw 45 fatalities. The department’s chief, Wally Hebeish, released a memo outlining the changes that will focus on enforcing traffic laws like speeding and distracted driving. The changes will involve the reassignment of motor officers, who will no longer respond to routine collision reports. Instead, they will be stationed at high-risk intersections and roadway stretches to enforce traffic laws and prevent accidents.

The new policy says that motor officers will only be dispatched to fatal collisions or incidents where drivers are suspected of driving under the influence. The aim is to concentrate on preventing repeat accidents by focusing on persistent safety issues that contribute to high collision rates. The department will prioritize moving violations such as distracted driving, driving under the influence, and certain pedestrian violations.

Long Beach has seen a significant number of traffic-related deaths in the past three years, with 141 fatalities recorded and pedestrians accounting for the majority of the 45 people who lost their lives in 2022. In the first 11 months of 2022, 5,597 traffic collisions were reported. However, data on the number of collisions in December 2022 is not available. Unfortunately, in the first two months of 2023, six additional fatalities have been recorded.


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