Coronavirus: Notorious LA traffic is almost non-existent amid COVID-19 pandemic, but CHP warns against speeding

KABC logo
Monday, March 23, 2020
Notorious LA traffic is almost non-existent amid COVID-19 pandemic
Notorious L.A. gridlock has almost completely disappeared during the coronavirus pandemic.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles is known for its notoriously heavy traffic, but during the coronavirus emergency with so many people staying home, there's been little-to-no gridlock.

ABC7 spoke with California Highway Patrol Officer Robert Gomez via Skype about the fortuitous development.

"The good news is there's less traffic, but what that comes more speeders, erratic drivers," Gomez said.

The amount of calls to the CHP have dropped compared to the number of fender-benders that occurred during normal gridlock before the coronavirus outbreak.

But now the agency is receiving calls and witnessing more rollover incidents, single-car collisions and more ambulances responding due to the higher volume of speeders on the empty roads, which in turn results in more dangerous results.

Coronavirus: How to stay safe when going out in public for essentials such as food, gas

Amid the coronavirus emergency, people are being urged to limit the time they spend in public. But there are essential items that consumers may have to leave their house for.

Gomez said CHP officers are taking all coronavirus precautions, such as sanitizing, washing their hands often. However, they're also finding more pedestrians on freeways, which requires CHP officers to put themselves in more danger.

"We're walking on the freeways trying to keep them safe," Gomez said. "That's just part of the job and working in downtown L.A."

As for parking tickets, Gomez warned residents that his department is not going to be lenient because of what society is facing, adding that officers are out there to enforce laws and keep the public safe.

"There are people, families on the road," he said. "We've got to be careful, slow down and be patient."