CHP catches up to speeders
By Bill Lindelof -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Thursday, April 13, 2006
Story appeared in Arden carmichael section, Page G1
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A crackdown on speeders has been deemed a success after tickets were handed out to nearly 250 drivers on Arden Arcade and Carmichael streets.

Both the CHP commander for the area and Sacramento County Supervisor Susan Peters, whose district encompasses Arden Arcade and Carmichael, said they were satisfied with the outcome of three separate weeklong crackdowns.

The No. 1 neighborhood complaint is speeding, Peters said. The crackdown program was first announced around the first of the year.

"I want to thank the CHP for the education and maximum enforcement program," Peters said at a press conference last week. "They wrote hundreds of tickets in a very short amount of time."

Peters said speeds on Fair Oaks Boulevard also slowed about 5 mph as a result of the crackdown.

On Fair Oaks Boulevard from Watt to Eastern avenues, 129 tickets were issued.

On Watt Avenue from Arden Way to Fair Oaks Boulevard, the CHP wrote 48 tickets, and on Winding Way from Manzanita to San Juan avenues, 67 tickets were written.

In each instance, the county first put out mobile monitoring stations for a week, displaying motorists' speeds in bright numbers - and advising drivers not to exceed the speed limit.

CHP then sent officers to the traffic corridors in a concerted enforcement effort for seven days. Most of the citations written were for speeding.

Another special enforcement effort is planned. Walnut Avenue from Fair Oaks Boulevard to Marconi Avenue is the next traffic corridor scheduled for maximum enforcement.

Traffic enforcement is handled by the California Highway Patrol in unincorporated Sacramento County - not the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

Capt. Chuck Chellew, commander of the North Sacramento office of the CHP's Valley Division, said the crackdown was a success.

"It worked out great," he said. "We did see a reduction with the speeds on Fair Oaks. We didn't write as many on Watt.

"The problem is that it gets more congested on Watt. We are getting a new kind of radar that is laser. The current radar system makes it more difficult to pick up a speeder than with a laser. With laser, you can aim it and hit one car. If you have a car going through traffic, you can pick up that speed easier."

The CHP is in the process of purchasing the "lidar" speed-detection guns.

The CHP also unveiled its new traffic complaint hotline at the same press conference.

Residents in unincorporated parts of Sacramento County unhappy about speeders, stop-sign runners or other violators now can call (877) 247-1929.

Non-emergency complaints can be left on the recorded call-in line. CHP officials say they will respond by letter or phone to complaints left on the line.

Calls by citizens will enable the CHP to identify problem areas and deploy officers where needed.

Nearly 250 drivers recently got tickets in a new program. Here's where and how many:

* Fair Oaks Boulevard from Watt to Eastern avenues: 129 tickets were issued.

* Watt Avenue from Arden Way to Fair Oaks Boulevard: 48 tickets.

* Winding Way from Manzanita to San Juan avenues: 67 tickets.