SF traffic cops issue just 10 citations a day

What exactly are they doing?

As with so many of its responsibilities, the police force has nearly given up on traffic enforcement, letting speeders, red-light runners and illegal turners run roughshod, endangering pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists.

A new analysis of every traffic citation issued by San Francisco police over the past 4½ years shows enforcement of the rules of the road has plummeted. Incredibly, the 45 officers working in the department's traffic division have issued a combined 10 citations a day this year.

Yes, in a city with nearly half a million registered vehicles, a ticket is written every 2½ hours, on average. That's a huge drop in just three years: In 2019, the department issued an average of 74 traffic citations per day -- or about one every 20 minutes.

And here's an interactive map of every traffic death, with photos and details.

San Francisco Traffic Fatality Map:

Since San Francisco instituted its Vision Zero program in 2014, 241 people have been killed by car violence on its streets. Despite pouring millions into Vision Zero, San Francisco continues to lose someone to car violence every 13.02 days.

This project is a work in progress to identify the victims of car violence and understand the circumstances surrounding each crash. This information will help us focus our advocacy work and pressure our elected officials to start taking this public health crisis seriously.

If you knew one of these victims, please share what information you can to help us learn about their lives and the circumstances of their crash and if are able to do so, please support this project so we can continue doing this work.

Thread from Stephen Braitsch who did the data mining:

To be clear, the ultimate path to safer streets is not more policing. @LondonBreed must let @SFMTA_Muni redesign our streets to prioritize the safety of people outside of cars. "Transit-First" has been in SF's charter for 50 years & yet cars continue to dominate us everywhere.

However, since prioritizing non-car transport in SF is such a pathetically slow process, we must demand that @SFPD start enforcing our traffic laws in the interim, specifically by "Focusing on the Five" ON the High Injury Network which is currently less than 10% of all citations.

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5 Responses:

  1. Doctor Memory says:

    Talking about cops these days is like that old joke about the fancy restaurant: the food is terrible... and such small portions!

    I'm sure they'll use this year's inevitable budget increase to build an impregnable wall around the Valencia street station.

  2. MattyJ says:

    How many tickets to you think parking enforcement writes in a day? Or an hour or a minute? Much bigger return on investment there.

  3. Steven Richards says:

    Sounds like the main characters of the traffic department are Farrah Fawcett Majors and Jaclyn Smith.
    By the numbers, only 3.3 tickets are given per day as far as the 5 areas of highest safety are concerned.
    This is just plain ugly. Heartbreaking for the families who have needlessly lost loved ones on San Francisco’s streets.

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