Accidents down, speeding tickets up

chpcarWhen CHP Captain Andrea Witmer stood up recently to talk to the Bishop City Council, she revealed large downturns in accidents and a sharp upturn in speeding citations.  Captain Witmer told Sierra Wave later that she and her officers have focused all year long on the three big violations – speed, seat belts and driving under the influence.  Cell phone use while driving is not far behind.

Captain Witmer said compared to 2010, 2011 saw a 12% drop in fatal accidents, a 22% drop in total injury collisions and a 10% drop in total accidents.  Bishop CHP officers also handed out 744 more speeding citations.

DUI cases went up 11% with 24 more arrests over the previous year.  Seat belt citations jumped up 42% with 232 more citations.  The Captain added that with the 7 fatal accidents in 2010, 5 of those people would have lived, she said, if they had worn a seat belt.

So, does all of this mean a change in enforcement strategies?  Captain Witmer said she just makes it a habit to share how things are going with her officers and what to expect.  Witmer said she believes highway experiences make the officers more aware of how to deal with violations.

Are there arrest or citation quotas?  No, said Witmer.  She said quotas are illegal.

Cell phone violations – manual use of a phone or texting while driving will loom large on the CHP radar this year.  Last year, the State issued a report on the dangers of cell phone use while driving.  Captain Witmer warns motorists that it only takes a split second not to see a pedestrian, cyclist or another car.  “You have to ask yourself,” she said, “if you’re ready to go to jail for manslaughter.”  A grim warning.

On a more upbeat note, the Captain invites local residents to bring their child safety seats to the Bishop headquarters to make sure they are correctly installed and to make sure they have not expired.

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JJ
JJ
10 years ago

The average CHP officer makes 100k a year with overtime and can retire at 50 years old with 3 percent of their final compensation times the number of years they have. That means a 30 year employee at 100k a year can make 90k a year in retirement….sign me up!… Read more »

JJ
JJ
10 years ago

Maybe we should all be fined every time we speed. I bet 99.9 percent of all of you speed every day . In England you get fined based on your income. 310.00 dollars is a lot of money to some and a joke to others.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago

It’s scary to think I have to share the road with people who think they should be able to drive as fast as they want without any regard to the consequences and use any childish rationalization to justify their childish viewpoint. Really? Driving the speed limit is some kind of… Read more »

Bemused
Bemused
10 years ago

Pretending this is about public safety, rather than revenue generation, is an insult to our collective intelligence…

Rob
Rob
10 years ago
Reply to  Bemused

I don’t care if it’s about money or not. People need to slow down and getting a few speeding tickets will make that happen for most people. Get smart or it’s going to get expensive. I’m not in law enforcement and I tip my ‘cowboy’ hat to our CHP! pull… Read more »

Roy
Roy
10 years ago

Having spent 30 years as a law enforcement officer I can say cops have never had a ticket quota,.,. We can write as many as we want..

Long arm of the law
Long arm of the law
10 years ago
Reply to  Roy

You’re probably right about the quotas but in government law enforcement just like every department needs to “justify” their expenditures throughout the fiscal year to the Legislature and while a “quota system” as the general public knows it probably doesn’t exist the Department is required to justify their “increased resources… Read more »

Lovestereotypes
Lovestereotypes
10 years ago

1. No such thing as quotas
2. Donuts are so 1970…cops nowdays prefer whole wheat bagels. Duh.

Jose
Jose
10 years ago

about when you get pulled over for no reason… Because you look hispanic and cops think you are illegal and don’t have a license that doesn’t give them the right to pull you over. just like everyone else we need transportation to get to work everyday. my friend got pulled… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  Jose

There is no such thing as being given a $500 ticket for being Hispanic. That’s nuts. If the guy was given a $500 ticket then the officer was right to pull him over. What exactly was the ticket for? And don’t try to tell us it was for “Driving while… Read more »

Terry
Terry
10 years ago
Reply to  Jose

If yo friend speek like u write, ticket should have ben $1000 US dollar. If yo frnd illegal, he shud hav ben givn free ride to bordr and sent homie.

Really
Really
10 years ago

To nothappy……so are you saying that since you were only breaking the law a little and others were breaking the law a lot more, they should let you slide and only go after the other guys? Amazing. The way to avoid having to pay the 310 ticket is to go… Read more »

Bret M
Bret M
10 years ago

When the Government fears the people it is liberty, when the people fear the Government it is tyranny.
How many fear those lights going on in the back of you while you drive???

Big Rick O'Brien
Big Rick O'Brien
10 years ago

395 is what cruise control is for. Set mine at 69,70, stay in the slow lane except to pass grampa in his winnebago,= no moving violations in 20 yrs.

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
10 years ago

Whoever thinks speeding and/or unsafe driving is not a problem…and should not be dealt with a heavy hand-on method by Law Enforcement on HWY.395 maybe should have been driving south of Lone Pine on Friday nite,or had their police scanners on, and seen what the consequences can be when drivers… Read more »

JaneE
JaneE
10 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

I was there. By the time the traffic got moving it was difficult to see how many were involved, but there were at least two vehicle remains on flatbed tow trucks. I was about 3/4 mile back. Naturally it was in the two lane portion of 395. On our trip… Read more »

Long arm of the law
Long arm of the law
10 years ago

“Quotas” laughable; it’s interesting to note that as of January 1, 2012 the State of Taxifornia also raised almost every traffic citation……Coincidental? No, not because the State is broke and County’s get a share of the “bail” amount. When it comes to tickets the “winners” are police, the State, and… Read more »

upthecreek
upthecreek
10 years ago

@Long arm of the law..
You sir are 100% correct and 100% AWAKE

Bobbie Lee Swagger
Bobbie Lee Swagger
10 years ago

and in related news, donut sales have soared in Bishop. Shop owners are unsure if there’s a connection between the sharp rise in chocolate-covered sales and the increased revenue accruing to local law enforcement due to citiation-writing (over) zealousness. They did say they hope the trend the continues, the donut… Read more »

charlesojones
charlesojones
10 years ago

Thank you to Captain Witmer and her officers for doing a good job. I frequently travel the 395 in Owen’s Valley and I have noticed that the average speed seems to be lower since enforcement has picked up. Fewer speeders and fewer aggressive drivers makes a safer highway for everyone.… Read more »

Terry
Terry
10 years ago
Reply to  charlesojones

Well said from a former CHP employee, Charlie. The state is broke and this translates into “we will write a lot more tickets and issue a lot less warnings”.

upthecreek
upthecreek
10 years ago
Reply to  Terry

Dont worry Be happy…

Just look at as a donation to a out of control bankrupt State and a future pension payment for the police dept/county.

Terry glad to see the former CHP employee knows the truth

GGW

Rob
Rob
10 years ago
Reply to  charlesojones

“Captain Witmer and her officers for doing a good job” Absolutely! It’s good to see all the CHP’s out on the road. I think they’re doing a fantastic job. It’s not about money, it’s about saving lives. I have no problem with them citing for 10mph over the speed limit.… Read more »

nothappy
nothappy
10 years ago

I was pulled over going 10 mph over the speed limit just prior to hitting the grade. I have an older vehicle that needs to get its RPM’s up to at “least” get up the grade. While the Sheriff was writing out my ticket cars were going by us alot… Read more »

Jon Boyer
Jon Boyer
10 years ago
Reply to  nothappy

By admission you were going 75 in a 65. So tell me, what’s the cutoff point the officer should use? It’s obviously not 10 over so is it 15 over, 20 over? Help me out here. Define “really fast.” Bottom line: Don’t exceed the posted speed limit, don’t get a… Read more »

JJ
JJ
10 years ago

It’s because we live in a police state. Nothing to brag about here.

upthecreek
upthecreek
10 years ago
Reply to  JJ

yes we do….

Accidents down and PENSIONS UP.
the true story