Campaign targets aggressive driving



A dramatic increase in traffic crashes in Tuolumne County has caught officers' attention.

And they're planning to do something about it.

The California Highway Patrol and Sonora Police Department have formed a task force to target aggressive driving.

There's more traffic these days, and officers said people commit all kinds of driving infractions, such as tailgating, crossing double-yellow lines and failing to yield the right of way, which contribute to the increase in crashes and deaths, CHP Officer Tom Wills said.

"The days of stopping and giving verbal warnings are probably going to cease," Wills said. "People are going to receive citations now."

Sonora Police Lt. Pat Tonegato said the media campaign will include both education and enforcement. Officers will promote good driving habits and explain what causes accidents.

A 2002 traffic study prepared for the county Public Works Department said "... traffic accidents in Tuolumne County are primarily the result of aggressive driving, mainly by males below the age of 45."

Last year's crashes outside Sonora city limits almost doubled the number recorded in 2000, and fatalities have more than tripled. These are the highest numbers of accidents and deaths since 1998.

The Jamestown area CHP office busier than any other similar-sized commands in the state handles up to 130 crashes a month outside city limits, Wills said.

Twenty-two people died in crashes last year the most since 1997, when 16 people died on Tuolumne County roads.

And Sonora has recorded the highest number of accidents among cities its size in the state for as long as Tonegato can remember.

Sonora sees few fatal crashes because speed limits are low within city limits, but impatient drivers in heavy traffic on small-town streets lead to a lot of fender-benders, as well as injury wrecks.

The city saw a 150-crash jump between 2001 and 2002 from 339 to 489.

The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Thursday October 27, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
New oak disease spreads from coast to foothills


A deadly fungus killing oak trees along the coasts of central and ... more

Residents complain about cultivation enforcement


Residents of El Rancho Loma Serena Homeowners Association said they believe Calaveras ... more

Columbia Elementary gets an interim leader


The Columbia Union School Board Tuesday hired Diane Dotson as interim superintendent-principal. ... more

All Hallows Fantasy Faire


Hundreds of people of all ages, costumed and non-costumed, attended the eighth ... more

Paying the price


Chris Lusardi, of Sonora, is one of thousands of Tuolumne County residents ... more