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Alameda Police Turn up the Heat on Traffic Violators

Alameda police issued 420 traffic violation citations in a two week period at the end of September.

Alameda police issued 420 traffic violation citations in a two week period at the end of September.

A police enforcement blitz from September 24th to October 8th produced 420 traffic violation citations in Alameda, 232 of which were for speeding.

“The results of the two week increased enforcement confirmed what we already suspected, which is that many people are simply driving too fast,” said Alameda Police Chief Paul Rolleri.

There were drivers cited for driving at 50 m.p.h. and 51 m.p.h. in a 25 m.p.h. zone as well as 54 m.p.h. in a 30 m.p.h. zone.

Most of the violations occurred on Otis Drive (56), Fernside Boulevard (52), and Constitution Way (28) – the main roads used to enter and exit Alameda, according to a statement released by the City of Alameda.

The table below summarizes the number and type of violations during the two week period.

Violations9/24 – 10/08/2013
Total420
Speeding232
Insurance54
Using a cell phone49
Stop Lamp Requirements32
Disobey Posted Sign30
Stop Sign23

Drivers sometimes complain that traffic citations are really about revenue generation for the issuing jurisdiction. Not so, say city officials, who noted that the City of Alameda receives only 12 percent to 17 percent of the total fine, or 82 percent of the base fine; the rest of the money, an accumulation of fees and surcharges, goes to Alameda County and the State of California.

However, being cited for driving at higher speeds in excess of the posted limit will generate more revenue for the local municipality. The table below, drawn on data provided by the City of Alameda and the 2013 California Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedule, published by the California Judicial Council, shows that the absolute amount the City of Alameda collects on a speeding violation is graduated, depending on how fast in excess of the posted limit the driver was cited for.

MPH Over LimitBase FineTotal BailCity of Alameda Share
82% of base fine
12% to 17% of total bail
1-15$35$238$28.70
16-25$70$367$57.40
26 and over$100$490$82.00

Municipalities generally assert that it still costs more to enforce traffic laws than the revenue generated.

Chief Rolleri reminds drivers that “traffic safety is a shared responsibility,” and that, with the holiday season approaching, residents should drink responsibly and use designated drivers or alternative ride options.

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