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Motorcycle Team Cites Dozens In Lafayette

Lafayette, it seems, is a "target-rich environment" for the city's new motorcycle officers — known to us only as officers Shaman and Vu.

It didn't take long for Lafayette's new two bike traffic enforcement team to bag an offender, Police Chief Mike Hubbard told his city manager, and more than 90 others quickly followed in just the first week of two-wheeled enforcement.

Hubbard informed Lafayette City Manager Steven Falk that the enforcement team took to the streets July 15 at 8:14:42 (presumably a.m.) and by 8:14:59 had netted its first scofflaw -"

(No matter what your position is on the enforcement effort, you have to admit it's a good thing to bag people who see nothing wrong with manipulating a mini-keyboard while navigating our roads in several tons of steel at 60 mph).

Hubbard reported that "more than 90 people have been (un)lucky enough to obtain a personal meeting with " in their first week on patrolling local roads.

"While those who received citations aren’t thrilled, many, many more people are thanking them for working in their neighborhoods," Falk wrote in his weekly summary. "They’re waving to me with all five fingers," said one officer, "and are glad that we’re finally doing something about the high speeds on our winding two-lane streets."

Hubbard said the motorcycle program enables the Lafayette police to enforce traffic regulations on roads that had been difficult if not impossible to work successfully, such as Moraga and St. Mary’s roads.

One driver reportedly asked Vu after being stopped for speeding on St. Mary’s Road: “Why did you stop me? Don’t you know that everyone speeds on this road?”

The chief said his department will deploy the motorcycles  starting in August on two-lane neighborhood roads on which it is difficult or impossible to use a patrol car.

"Once September rolls around, when school starts, we’ll concentrate our enforcement around the elementary schools and target drivers that threaten our kids," Hubbard told Falk.

The Police Department will work with schools to determine which locations have  posed the most problems, such as Moraga Road near Lafayette Elementary School, and Happy Valley Road.

lovelafayette August 05, 2011 at 05:06 PM
Peter. I am not against law enforcement. I want the traffic to slow down in front of Lafayette School. The street needs a redesign. I am against the business district being plagued by car thefts, burgularies, bank robberies. Look at todays SUN, the # of burgularies this week is remarkable when juxtaposed against the # of speeding tickets. What do you mean "on loan"? Are you saying we now have 2 additional police on duty? That is not what was explained at City Council. They ditched the dog to save money, and then bought motorcycles and training, so the net effect was an increase in the$ spent on LPD and no increase in the # of cops on duty.
c5 August 11, 2011 at 02:12 PM
a bit harsh are we? that being said, there is clearly something going on here that does not pertain to safety but does pertain to revenues. i'd be happy to see these resources being directed 100% to real safety enhancements, but some of these activities do nothing to improve safety although they do enrich the coffers of the local govt. there has never been any data that suggests that we actually have a safety problem in town, so this looks to me like a solution looking for a problem...
Carol Ann Long August 11, 2011 at 08:16 PM
You can ticket some offenders forever and not change their bad driving habits. Our neighbor's landscaper says he is pulled over and cited all the time and talks about it like it's a game. His glovebox is full of citations, he doesn't go to court and doesn't appear to worry about having a warrant issued for him. Makes you think.
LovesLafayette August 17, 2011 at 07:28 PM
I continue to be appalled by the egregious number of traffic enforcement officers roaming the streets of Lafayette as if we drive like maniacs (think Rome). It's gotten to the point where I'm afraid to drive from my house to Safeway for fear I may get pulled over for some innocuous infraction cooked up by the Lafayette police to generate revenue. Additionally, I fear for my young 16 year old driver who I know is at great risk for being picked on by our unfriendly, curt traffic patrol officers. What is happening to our city? I've been living here for 9 years and I've yet to witness an overabundance of crazy, out of control drivers that necessitates this type of police coverage in a town of this small size. Do we have drivers that roll stops signs? Of course. Do we have drivers that tailgate? Yes. Do we have drivers that text or talk on cells while driving? Yes. Drive too fast passing school zones? Absolutely (albeit it's summer so no school is in session). What city doesn't? Does it warrant this type of tyranny from the Lafayette police? Absolutely not. In the past month, a day has not passed that I haven't seen three officers hiding on side streets, or waiting to pounce on yet another unsuspecting driver. Enough already! I'm all for traffic and driving safety, but last time I checked we reside in a democratic society, not a police state. How about directing your efforts towards stopping or solving some crimes. Something that truly helps the community.
Brad Katkowsky August 17, 2011 at 08:46 PM
Egregious? Police state? Tyranny? Holy Cow, I'm ready to storm the police station! Seriously, I see them out there to and they seem to be writing folks up (how do we know what for? Is there data on that?) but as for the driving practices of people around here I have to say it may not be Rome but it is perty darn bad. I'd say one in six of the people I pass on the road are jabbering away on a phone AND rolling through stop lights or signs so it would be nice to get some enforcement there. As for younger drivers I have to say the ones I've seen out there lately haven't impressed me even though I know not all are not like the kid who tailgated me from Lafayette to Orinda while looking down at his lap every twenty seconds or so. For now put me down on the side of more enforcement ---- until I get stopped!

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