Seventy-five speeding tickets, 15 tickets for "distracted driving" and eight for seat belt violations were issued to drivers at various locations in Woodside on Aug. 20, according to the San Mateo County Police Chiefs and Sheriff Association.
Once a month, officers on motorcycles from around the county concentrate on "trouble spots" in chosen communities and look in particular for speeding violations, unsafe turning movements, and cell phone and seat belt violations.The cities chosen for the Aug. 20 enforcement were Woodside, Portola Valley and Redwood City.
In Woodside, one trouble spot was the stretch of Woodside Road between Alameda de las Pulgas and Interstate 280. The Almanac's Town Square forum lit up with comments responding to a poster complaining about having been cited for speeding on that segment of road, where the speed limit drops to 35 mph from 45 mph.
That stretch of road is infamous. Michelle Mazzei, a fourth-grade teacher at Oak Knoll School in Menlo Park and an experienced cyclist and triathlete, died in October 2005 after being struck by a car while cycling westbound on Woodside Road. She was 34.
Officers also concentrated on three other Woodside locations: Sand Hill Road at Portola Road, a stretch of Canada Road, and Woodside Road near Woodside Elementary School, said Sgt. Jay Keily of the Burlingame Police Department, which coordinated the August enforcement.
The day yielded 133 citations total in Woodside and 156 in Redwood City, according to the association's statement.
While the association listed Portola Valley as a target for enforcement activities on Aug. 20, Sgt. Keily was unable to confirm locations in town where it might have taken place.
Police departments from around San Mateo County participate in STEP, including Atherton and Menlo Park, meeting monthly to identify hot spots. To date, the officers have issued 1,598 citations in 2014, including 411 for "distracted driving."
More deployments are coming. "The San Mateo County Police Chiefs and Sheriff Association has committed to this important safety initiative," the statement said.
"The participating officers remained committed to making a high volume of traffic stops in this coordinated saturation, while maintaining the highest levels of community awareness and professionalism," the statement said. "The number of stops and citations during this most recent deployment reflect a sustained enthusiasm for this program and traffic safety on the Peninsula."
While the state Office of Traffic Safety provides significant grant funding for local law enforcement agencies under the Selected Traffic Enforcement Program, which also goes by the acronym STEP, and the two programs have similar missions, they are not related, Sgt. Keily said.
The local program began in January 2013. Agencies contribute officers for the day under existing operations budgets. The goal is to do so without diluting ordinary patrol staffing, Sgt. Keily said.
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