Manteca Police — like a growing number of California municipal law enforcement agencies— do not respond to simple fender benders.
And while they respond to more significant mishaps where a vehicle is often disabled but there are no injuries, they do not determine fault. They will file reports when someone is injured.
On major accidents that involve a fatality or a major injury a more extensive investigation will be conducted but ultimately fault is assigned by insurance companies and not police except in cases where the accident leads to criminal charges being filed.
The department’s policy may not sit well with some motorists but Police Chief Nick Obligacion noted insurance companies ultimately determine on their own which driver is responsible and therefore whose insurance pays the tab.
“By not writing reports for fender benders it frees up officers for other things,” the police chief said.
The department handled 858 accident calls in 2014, up 16.58 percent from 2013. The number of traffic accidents in Manteca is significantly higher since it does not include fender benders or non-injury accidents in private parking lots such as those at shopping centers.
There were no fatalities in Manteca in 2014 compared to three in 2013. Injury accidents numbered 159 last year compared to 147 in 2013.
A rundown of other accident-related statistics in Manteca include:
u699 property damage only accidents in 2014, compared to 585 in 2013.
u41 driving under the influence arrests or citations whether it is alcohol, drugs, or prescription medicine in 2014 compared to 51 in 2013.
u83 hit and run accidents in 2014, compared to 81 in 2013.
u193 seat belt violation tickets were issued in 2014 compared to 91 in 2013.
u1,221 moving violation tickets were issued in 2014, compared to 1,464 in 2013.
u9 child restraint violation tickets were issued in 2014, compared to 25 in 2013.
u734 non-moving violations were issued in 2014, compared to 797 in 2013.
u582 parking citations were issued in 2014, compared to 572 in 2013.
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