The City and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation receive traffic signal requests each year, often made in response to a tragic accident. Traffic signals cannot prevent fatal accidents or eliminate accidents caused by distracted drivers and pedestrians.
Traffic signals often do improve the safety of an intersection. They can reduce the number of right angle or pedestrian accidents.
Before LADOT can install a traffic signal at an intersection, it must apply standards to identify locations that need signal control, including:
- Amount of vehicular and pedestrian traffic from all approaches
- Interruptions to traffic flow for side street vehicles and pedestrians
- Special conditions such as cross-traffic visibility, hills and curves
- Accident history of the intersection
- Nearby schools
- The side street’s function to serve local traffic flow
However the installation of unnecessary traffic signals can cause unwanted side effects, including:
- An increased accident frequency
- The creation of traffic delay for motorists
- Diversion of traffic on to residential streets
- An unwanted concentration of traffic at one intersection
Every effort is made to install alternative traffic control and safety measures where traffic signal control is not justified.