Although the City of Los Alamitos is only 4.3 square miles, it encompasses 28 miles of highways and roadways. In 1999, a traffic survey revealed that the main arterial roadways carried a volume of traffic that averaged 217,000 vehicles per day through the city. The intersection of Los Alamitos Boulevard and Katella Avenue was rated as the fifth busiest intersection in the county. With a population of approximately 12,500, the majority of this is considered commuter traffic. A Traffic Sergeant oversees the traffic program at the Los Alamitos Police Department, and in addition to processing traffic reports, he meets regularly with the Traffic Commission to identify and resolve specific traffic issues. Routine traffic enforcement is provided by a motorcycle officer, as well as all other police officers assigned to patrol. Although minor traffic collision investigations are handled by patrol officers, major and fatal collision investigations are conducted by a specially trained Accident Investigation Team.
Supported by a tri-city grant from the Office of Traffic Safety, the Cities of Los Alamitos, Cypress and Seal Beach joined forces to promote traffic safety by developing the West Cities Traffic Safety Program. Among the many aspects of enhanced enforcement provided by the grant is the aforementioned Police Motorcycle Officer that was added to the roster of the Los Alamitos Police Department.
To increase public awareness, periodic multi-jurisdictional Traffic Safety Checkpoints are run cooperatively with neighboring agencies. These checkpoints serve as a deterrent as well as providing an opportunity to inform the public concerning traffic safety.
A successful, long term traffic safety program requires more than just police enforcement activities. Awareness and education play an important part of any successful program. To that end, the Los Alamitos Police Department utilizes a Radar Display Trailer on our roadways to increase the awareness of our many drivers of their actual traveled speed on city streets. Normally the Radar Display Trailer is either placed next to the posted speed limit sign, or the speed limit is displayed on a nearby temporary sign.
Driving at an unsafe speed is one of the leading causes for injury and non-injury traffic collisions in our city. The basic speed law is defined as, "No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent with regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers people or property."
Many individuals believe they are "good drivers" and that they are able to control their vehicles, even at speeds higher than the posted limit. Others are either preoccupied by preparing for their day's activities by reading, writing, shaving, applying make-up, or utilizing mobile phones, etc. These activities divert a driver’s attention from what they should be doing -- driving -- and are less aware of their speed and approaching conditions and dangers.
The large number of collisions in our city and region speak to these thoughts and activities…. Slow down, focus your attention on driving, and be a defensive driver!
If you have traffic concerns, or would like to suggest a location where you believe the Radar Display Trailer may have an impact on traffic safety, please contact the Police Department. The Los Alamitos Police Department hopes that drivers in our hurried society will take a moment to consider their driving habits and ensure they are operating their motor vehicles in compliance with State and local laws… for everyone's safety.