Petaluma police crack down on unsafe drivers

PETALUMA – Armed with updated data on the major causes of traffic collisions in their city, Petaluma police conducted the latest crackdown on unsafe drivers on Tuesday.

Police conducted a similar ticketing enforcement operation on Dec. 3, singling out unsafe speed, disregard for pedestrians, distracted driving and driving under the influence as the most egregious violations.

Twenty officers were divided into three special enforcement teams to conduct both operations. Two teams were assigned with officers as pedestrian decoys and speed measuring devices.

The third team followed repeat DUI offenders and conducted compliance checks on probation and parole offenders.

Over the two enforcement days, officers conducted more than 90 traffic stops, issued 63 citations and arrested three people.

In the last three years, 379 or 19 percent of Petaluma traffic collisions have been caused by unsafe speed.  Those collisions resulted in 155 injuries. Speed-related collisions have declined from 137 in 2008 to 98 this year so far.

Because of a fatal pedestrian collision in Rohnert Park and pedestrian collisions in Petaluma, officers targeted pedestrian violations at crosswalks. Using a police officer in civilian clothing as a decoy in a marked crosswalk, officers stopped drivers who failed to stop for the pedestrian or a vehicle stopped for the pedestrian.

Twenty-four pedestrians have been injured in collisions this year, compared to 27 in 2009 and 28 in 2008. Citations for pedestrian right-of-way violations this year-to-date are 66; there were 103 in 2009.

Bicycle collisions reached 42 in 2008, 41 in 2009, and are at 27 in 2010.

Cell phone use and texting while driving have been determined to be as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to Sgt. Ken Savano. Violations are often difficult to detect after a collision.

The number of arrests for DUI is down 28 percent, from 482 in 2009 to 346 so far in 2010. DUI collisions reached a total of 52 in 2009 and are at 40 this year, a 23 percent drop.

Petaluma police crack down on unsafe drivers was last modified: June 4th, 2012 by admin
Categories: Sonoma