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Tickets down, accidents up
Safety battle shifts with Manteca Police staffing
Firefighters tend to the victim in one of Mantecas 82 injury traffic accidents this year through July 31. - photo by Bulletin file photo

The chance of getting a driving ticket in Manteca has dropped.

You might consider that good news.

But because there is less enforcement of traffic laws injury-related accidents are on the rise.

Traffic mishaps inflicting injury are up 36.67 percent from January through July compared to the same seven-month period in 2010 according to Manteca Police statistics. That translates into 82 injury accidents compared to 60 at the same time last year.

At the same time tickets for moving violations have dropped 21.19 percent for the same period going from 1,274 last year to 1,004 for 2011 as of July 31.

Speeding enforcement has been a challenge since October 2009 when the number of traffic officers was slashed from five to two due to budget cuts. Police Chief Dave Bricker shifted resources to keep on-the-street officer staffing the same to handle life-threatening situations and felonies as well as to keep the pressure on gangs.

Studies show that well over 60 percent of the speeders on collector streets such as Woodward Avenue, Powers Avenue, and Crom Street are done by people living within four to six blocks of the street.

The police chief has noted a typical Manteca resident is going to lose more financially than they ever will from property crimes. Bricker has indicated ideally the department would have at least five officers working traffic.

Total vehicle-related citations are down 18.05 percent through July of this year compared to through June of 2010. They went from 3,783 to 3,100.

Overall accidents are up 3.42 percent going from 351 to 363.