Fresno Police Department
Traffic Division
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Jerry Dyer, Chief
2323 Mariposa Street
Fresno, CA 93721
(559) 621-7000
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The Fresno Police Department’s decade long campaign dedicated to traffic safety has made a tremendous difference in our community. Because of these efforts, many citizens in our city will never have to experience the pain and suffering caused by a traffic collision.

In 2013, the City of Fresno saw a reduction in overall collisions, which decreased by 2% from 2012. This represents the fewest collisions in the past 12 years. The overall reductions are staggering in comparison to our traffic collision rates from the inception of our traffic program in 2002. Since 2002, injury collisions are down 39% and total collisions are down 43%. Our efforts to reduce pedestrian fatalities from last year’s high of 16 are showing some positive results. While fatalities did increase by two, from 28 to 30, this increase was largely related to an increase in vehicle vs bicycle collisions. Sadly, none of these bicyclists were wearing a helmet and all of them were under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.

In 2013, our department investigated 30 fatalities, a 42% reduction from 2002. While we are pleased with this significant reduction in pedestrian deaths, pedestrian fatalities still constitute approximately 1/3 of our fatalities and it continues to be an emphasis of our enforcement efforts. Of the 30 fatalities in 2013, there were a total of 11 pedestrian deaths, which is a 31% reduction from 2012. The increase in pedestrian fatalities was identified in 2010, at which time we began to aggressively target these violations.

In 2013, we conducted 12 pedestrian operations throughout the city, targeting pedestrian violations during both daytime and nighttime hours. When we evaluated the pedestrian deaths in 2013, we discovered that seven of the 11 pedestrians, 64%, were intoxicated. Two of these had a blood alcohol level in excess of .35%, which is considered to be associated with alcohol poisoning. 72% of the deceased pedestrians were at fault in the collision, as they occupied a portion of the roadway not designed for pedestrian travel. All of the pedestrians that were found to be at fault, 72%, in these collisions were found to be on the roadway, during the hours of darkness, and none of the pedestrians were wearing reflective clothing that would have increased their visibility. Fortunately, none of the pedestrians killed in 2013 were children.

Police departments cannot arrest their way out of their communities’ impaired driving problems, but an aggressive DUI enforcement and education program with a substantial “buy in” can certainly make our roads safer. It is the philosophy of the Fresno Police Department that in order to reduce incidents of impaired driving, we have to change behavior and encourage people to make the right decisions. Social change requires time and a sustained effort. We believe that combining both education and an unwavering enforcement effort to hold people accountable for their actions is effective in reaching our goal for social change.

If someone were to shoot a gun into a crowded stadium, the entire nation would be outraged. If that bullet were to strike and kill someone, we would demand justice. If this was to occur every day, we could not allocate enough resources to prevent it. And yet, every day someone gets behind the wheel of a 4000 pound bullet, while impaired, and drives down our crowded streets. All too often, this bullet strikes its victim and sadly, often kills them. Where is the outrage in this incident? Where is the demand for justice? Where is the allocation of resources?

For the past decade Chief Dyer’s leadership, as well as the men and women of the Fresno Police Department have clearly demonstrated their outrage, their allocation of resources, and their demand for justice through the arrests of 33,794 impaired drivers.

The simple concept of increasing DUI arrests has led to a reduction in impaired driving collisions. Last year, our DUI enforcement index was an impressive 11.6%. This is two times better than NHTSA’s guidelines of 25% for being a proactive agency. Of our total 2,693 DUI arrests in 2013, only 315 stemmed from an arrest at a DUI collision.

The Fresno Police Department’s Traffic Bureau continues the relentless pursuit of DUI drivers in our city. Through a variety of DUI education and enforcement programs designed to eradicate DUI drivers from our streets, the Fresno Police Department made 2,693 DUI arrests last year. This has resulted in a 10% reduction in DUI collisions in our city from 2012.

Traffic safety is a compilation of numerous separate efforts reflected in our statistics. The sheer volume is impressive. We issued 52,257 traffic citations in 2013. Of those 12,875 were for speeding and 3,861 were for occupant protection violations. We cited 7,120 unlicensed drivers, 3,876 suspended drivers, and 8,403 distracted drivers.

An effective traffic safety program also has impact on crime reduction. Traffic officers arrested 423 felony suspects and seized 26 guns this year. As a result, the Traffic Bureau is a major part of most large scale crime suppression operations in the city.

What is truly amazing is that in a city of over half a million people, only five of our fatalities in 2013 were attributed to the traditional vehicle versus vehicle collision. This number, which remains unchanged from last year, is the lowest number of vehicle versus vehicle fatalities ever recorded in the history of the Fresno Police Department. The significance regarding this fact is that a citizen within our community who legally drives a car, wears their seatbelt, and obeys traffic laws is immensely safer than ever before. Study after study by the California Office of Traffic Safety has concluded that Fresno remains the safest large city in California in which to drive. In 2013, the Fresno Police Department’s traffic safety program received recognition by Chiefs’ associations at both the state and national levels.

 

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Total Collisions

4,822

4,314

4,136

3,838

3,679

3,573

3,405

2,930

2,951

2,851

2,801

2,743

Injury Collisions

1,933

1,757

1,617

1,548

1,363

1,336

1,169

1,047

1,206

1,108

1,199

1,199

Fatalities

52

46

30

42

37

27

30

25

27

30 

28

30

DUI Collisions

484

369

423

499

511

510

549

457

463

404

350

314

Injury DUI Collisions

151

126

117

125

140

138

114

79

110

103

80

83

Fatal DUI Collisions

7

7

11

16

12

9

8

5

6

6

10

6

DUI Arrests

2,067

2,186

2,525

2,670

3,015

3,211

3,278

3,268

2,740

2,878

3,263

2,693