The driver, 36-year-old Martha
Cruz of Panorama City, did not have a valid California drivers
license, Emard said.
driver without a valid California license struck and killed a pedestrian in a
pre-dawn collision this weekend, police said Sunday.
Pedestrian Dies When Struck by SUV in Panorama City, LA TIMES, Sunday
Coroner’s officials identified
the victim as Patricia Ellen Riedy of Wildwood, Mo. She was crossing
Woodman Avenue just south of Cantara Street, not in a crosswalk, at about 5:35
a.m. Saturday when she was struck by a black Ford Explorer driven by
36-year-old Martha Cruz, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
Riedy was pronounced dead at the
was not arrested. The LAPD’s statement said she did not have a driver’s
incident. Information can be reported to them by calling
fatality underscores public safety danger of allowing unlicensed drivers to
escape car impounds: L.A. police union president
Reacting to another tragic pedestrian fatality used by an unlicensed driver, the Los Angeles Police
Protective League (LAPPL) late Sunday called on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to
cancel a directive to have the LAPD end 30-day vehicle holds on unlicensed
A 60-year-old woman from Missouri was killed Saturday when she was hit by a sport utility vehicle
driven by an unlicensed driver in Panorama City, officials said. “The tragic
accident in Panorama City shows how the mayor’s new policy can result in
innocent people being injured and killed,” said LAPPL President Paul M.
Weber. “The Mayor’s directive puts politics above public safety and
should be rescinded.”
Weber said vehicles driven by unlicensed drivers
should be impounded for two reasons: “First, an unlicensed driver willing to
ignore the law is, at least temporarily, less likely to further violate this
law because he or she will not have access to the impounded vehicle. Second,
the cost and inconvenience of recovering an impounded vehicle discourages
people without licenses from driving. That is precisely why the state
legislature enacted the 30-day hold law.”
Weber added that the mayor’s directive
substantially reduces the disincentives against the unlicensed and unlawful
operation of a vehicle. It also exposes officers and the City to potential
legal liabilities stemming from any damage or injury caused by an unlicensed
driver’s continued operation of a vehicle that, under state law, should have
been impounded, he said.
Under state law, police officers can impound the
cars of motorists caught driving without a license. Ignoring the public safety
benefits of this law, the mayor has called on the LAPD to end 30-day vehicle
holds on first-offense unlicensed drivers.
“The reason behind the change is politics,”
Weber said. “The mayor is concerned that a large number of illegal immigrants
cannot get a driver’s license under California law, but nevertheless drive on
our streets and therefore have their vehicles impounded. Some community leaders
and politicians have decided that it is more important that those illegal
immigrants and other unlicensed drivers have free reign to drive on our streets
than to have drivers whose licenses prove they understand the rules of the road.”