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Oakland Traffic Law Enforcement Have Their Hands Tied Behind Their Backs

Auto accidents are an all too common occurrence in the U.S. Many of them can result in serious injury and or death.

Congested cities like Los Angeles and Oakland can be a breeding ground for dangerous roadways and byways that are filled on a daily basis with bumper-to-bumper unsafe drivers. 

Say the professionals at The Barnes Firm, Oakland accident injury lawyers, car accidents not only happen, but they also happen all the time. Sometimes the accidents are dangerous and other times they are merely fender benders.

Victims often find themselves on the receiving end of a hit-and-run, a T-bone, a rear-end collision, or even a head-on collision. 

Almost all of these accidents will be the result of a driver who is either distracted with texting, intoxicated with alcohol and/or prescription drugs, or even eating and drinking while driving. 

Whatever the case, law enforcement officials in Oakland CA aren’t taking the new rash of vehicular accidents lightly. They are, in fact, attempting to up their game when it comes to cutting down on the number of collisions the big city has been realizing as of late.

But it isn’t easy when the state has promoted what has turned out to be a dangerous “defund the police” policy.  

According to a new survey, 150 Oakland residents were able to voice their opinion about the city’s hazardous roadways. The survey included questions that ranged from potholes to collisions to roadway engineering. 

But what was a major recurring theme in the survey? The lack of traffic law enforcement within a state whose governor, Gavin Newsom, openly called for the defunding of the police along with the release of violent felons from the state’s prisons (Newsom has more recently recanted his defiant stance against the police in lieu of spiking crime). 

In fact, a third of all survey responders felt that there are simply not enough police officers patrolling the streets and enforcing laws against red-light running, speeding, and many other dangerous and violent moving violations.  

Lack of Police Presence

One longtime resident of Oakland described the lack of police presence this way: she said she could not even begin to describe an Oakland Police Department (OPD) cruiser if she tried since she never sees them anymore.

Another resident who lives in the Arroyo Viejo neighborhood, states he feels as if the streets are “a free for all” and “a land of lawlessness.”

Yet another resident was quoted as saying she constantly sees vehicles speeding, tailgating, and passing other cars in the bike lanes, and yet there are no police around to arrest these traffic violators and/or to enforce traffic law. 

The bottom line is that Oakland residents want traffic laws to be enforced. Full stop. However, the survey raised some other important questions, such as, how much traffic enforcement are Oakland police allowed to do?

If they are unable to enforce traffic laws on a regular basis, why? Also, if the police were able to pull over traffic violators on a more regular basis, would it make a difference? Or would it create more problems and politically motivated resentment in the big Blue state? 

Only So Many Police Officers to Go Around

It’s the job of the Oakland Police Department to gather critical information on every vehicle stop that’s carried out by one of their officers.

The data proves that the OPD hands out thousands of citations/tickets for minor traffic violations on an annual basis, along with the enforcement of far more serious traffic breaches that lead to felonies.

Minor infractions reported by the OPD over the past two years since the “defund the police” movement began in the state, including illegal U-turns, failure to stop at a stop sign, texting, and talking on a cell phone while driving.

Some stops were initiated due to reports of stolen vehicles or the driver was a suspect in a criminal investigation, such as a homicide or a robbery. 

Say the OPD, in the final quarter of 2021, nearly 50 percent of all OPD stops were the result of moving violations.  

Drastic Reduction in Traffic Stops

The survey proved that OPD traffic stops have drastically dropped over the past 24 months. Between January 1 and September 31 of 2021, the OPD was said to have engaged in about 2,600 moving violation-related traffic stops.

For these, they wrote 2,200 tickets. These numbers are way down from the same period the year before when the OPD made close to 5,000 stops and wrote about 3,000 citations.  

Prior to 2020, the OPD stopped far more traffic violators and wrote far more tickets in large part because the “defund the police” movement had yet to take effect and the OPD had yet to implement “racial equity changes” that are said to have “de-prioritized” traffic violation stops as standard police practice. 

On top of this, because of the overall lack of morale among OPD officers and the dangers associated with policing primarily in Blue cities where their hands are tied behind their backs, many policemen and women have chosen to retire from the force altogether.

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