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Manteca Police target moving violations
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A Manteca traffic officer approaches a driver he had stopped for doing 40 in a 25 mph zone in the 300 block of West Alameda Street Wednesday morning near the Boys & Girls Club. - photo by GLENN KAHL

It’s back to school and Manteca Police are stepping up their efforts to “school” drivers in traffic laws now that youth are walking to and from campuses.

Officers are concentrating the bulk of their efforts on problematic, heavily traveled corridors where the vast majority of collisions occur in Manteca.

Motorists have been ignoring many traffic laws in Manteca from running red lights at intersections and making “rolling stops” at corners with red stop signs to speeding.

Last weekend a 48-year-old Manteca man was killed when his view was blocked by a van that slowed to allow a car to make an illegal left-hand turn on East Yosemite Avenue from the access road to El Rancho Mobile Home Park.

Twenty-one people since the start of 2014 have died in traffic collisions in Manteca  whether they were auto versus pedestrian, vehicle versus vehicle or solo accidents. That includes in 2014 (six deaths), 2015 (five deaths), 2016 (four deaths), 2017 (four deaths) and so far in 2018 (2 deaths). That is more deaths combined on Manteca’s streets than were recorded in the previous 12 years.

Accidents have been increasing almost three times faster than the population since 2010.  Manteca’s population went from 67,096 in 2010 to 81,450 by the end of 2017 for almost a 20 percent jump. Accidents went from 637 in 2010 to 946 in 2017 for an increase of 45 percent.

During the same time the number of moving violations for speeding, rolling through stop signs, running red lights, texting while driving, failure to yield to pedestrians and such has fallen 43 percent going from 2,019 in 2019 down to 1,155 in 2017. That period also reflects the years after the Manteca Police union declined to have salaries reduced in late 2009 opting to have 12 officers laid off as the city struggled to weather the Great Recession effectively decimating the traffic enforcement unit. There are now three traffic officers as opposed to five in 2009.

Manteca’s 21 deaths in the past four and a half years reflects only fatal accidents on city streets and does not include the 120 Bypass or Highway 99 that are under the jurisdiction of the California Highway Patrol. 

The record of 187 injury accidents established in 1987 will be broken by the end of this year if the current pace of injury accidents continues. There have been 111 injury accidents in the first six months of this year. 

Injury accidents are up 66 percent between 2010 and 2017 going from 112 to 186. Manteca had 586 injury accidents in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Last year was the second highest year for accidents that were reported to and handled by the Manteca Police Department with 946 occurring. The highest year was 2016 with 990 accidents while the third highest year was 2015 with 898 accidents.

Manteca in 2017 nearly doubled the number of tickets over 2016 that were issued for parking violations that cover blocking fire hydrants, blocking driveways, parking in red zones, parking in crosswalks, and similar infractions. The police issued 1,628 tickets last year compared to 827 in 2016. The peak year was 2,511 in 2009.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email