Monday, May 02, 2005

Freeway shootings

Even knowing a little about calculating probabilities and with the millions of drivers* on Los Angeles freeways daily, somehow having 7 freeway shootings in the last 2 months begins to register an alarm.

Do I perceive danger because it has been the subject of the disaster driven news so frequently and like everyone else I have trouble immediately sorting out the chicken little cries from real danger??

I don't know how long the ABC link above is good, but these shootings aren't confined to one local area or freeway and they appear to be random, though that isn't confirmed. There is also some concern that some of them may be copycat shootings.

Despite the mention by CHP of shootings being "rare", I don't feel any better knowing they are beginning to think copycats are involved. The Times gives the actual number of shootings so far this year (11), and in 2003 (46) and 2004 (36) including the number of fatalities.

LA Times on the 6th shooting  which happened on Sunday, 1 May. The Times article also lists the previous incidents by date, freeway, time, victim.
LA Times on the 7th and possibly 8th shootings

*LA County Freeway& Highway Traffic Volumes; In a quick search for actual facts rather than simply observation, I found statistics for 2003- and this little note at the bottom of the page:
Approximately 2,882,784 vehicle trips are taken on L.A.'s 650 miles of freeways and 22,000 miles of surface streets each day between 7-8 a.m. on weekdays. This is the equivalent of the entire population of Dallas, Texas.

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