It’s not just your imagination.
Manteca’s streets are getting more dangerous when it comes to driving, bicycling and walking.
Accidents have been increasing almost three times faster than the population since 2010. Manteca’s population went from 67,096 in 2010 to 75,000 by the end of 2015 for an 11.4 percent jump. Accidents went from 637 in 2010 to 898 in 2015 for an increase of 31.3 percent.
And if trends through the end of August continue, Manteca accidents in 2016 will push 1,000 this year. There were 636 crashes in Manteca as of Aug. 30 for a 9.81 percent increase over the same time in 2015 when there were 581 accidents.
The trend for overall accidents since 2010 has been upward.
Manteca has had 13 deaths on city streets (that does not include the 120 Bypass or Highway 99) since 2010. So far this year there has been one fatality as there was in each of the years of 2010, 2011, and 2012. There were no deaths in 2014, three deaths in 2013 and a record six deaths in 2015. Two of those six deaths were pedestrians in 2015.
The record of 187 injury accidents established in 2012 will be broken by the end of this year if the current pace of injury accidents continue. There have been 151 injury accidents in the first eight months of this year compared to 159 in all of 2015. There were 121 injury accidents in 2015 through Aug. 30 meaning the pace so far this year is 34 percent above last year.
Injury accidents are up 41.9 percent between 2010 and 2015 going from 112 to 159. The lowest year for injury accidents in the last six years was 2014 with 83. That is the same year there were no fatalities.
The highest year for moving violation tickets being issued by Manteca Police Department was 2009 with 2,211. There were 1,937 such tickets issued last year for a six year decrease from 2010.
Ticket writing for moving violations declined steadily from 2010 (2,019) until 2013 when 797 tickets were issued. There were 1,211 issued in 2014 and 1,937 in 2015.
The upward trend is likely to end this year. As of Aug. 30, Manteca Police issued 990 tickets for moving violations compared to 1,441 for the first eight months of 2015 for a 31.3 percent decrease.
Through Aug. 30 of this year 8.5 out of every 100 accidents that occurred involved a driver that was under the influence of either illegal or legal drugs or alcohol.
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 note insurance companies ultimately determine on their own which driver is responsible and therefore whose insurance pays the tab.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com