Police have issued thousands fewer traffic tickets to drivers in San Francisco in recent years, despite a citywide push to ticket drivers who exhibit the most dangerous driving behaviors, according to a review of publicly available data by the San Francisco Examiner.
The San Francisco Police Department is fulfilling its promise to issue tickets to drivers for certain behaviors like speeding as part of The City’s traffic safety effort Vision Zero, but publicly available traffic ticket data shows tickets of other traffic offenses have dropped precipitously.
Those offenses, listed merely as an “other” category of tickets in SFPD records, range from “fix-it” tickets for tail-lights or expired registration stickers, to tickets affecting traffic safety such as unsafe lane changes, and more.
This drop also allows SFPD to more easily meet its self-made mandate of 50 percent of all tickets issued being in vital traffic safety categories, because the total number of tickets issued is far fewer.
All told, annual traffic tickets issued so far this year dropped by nearly 30,000 from the same time in 2015, according to public data.
Despite the drop, the SFPD said its ticketing efforts are working to keep streets safe from dangerous drivers.
“Currently, pedestrian and bicycle fatalities are down compared to last years totals,” SFPD spokesperson Sgt. Michael Andraychak said in a statement to the Examiner.
There have been 15 traffic deaths so far this year, according to city data, 11 of whom were pedestrians and cyclists — the most recent of which was a pedestrian struck and killed by a car at Sloat and 36th avenues on Oct. 31. Last year, 30 people died in traffic fatalities on The City’s streets.
Ticketing is seen as a major leg of The City’s Vision Zero effort to reduce traffic deaths to zero by 2024, which is a three-prong effort of enforcement, engineering and education.