NEWS 29.6% increase in population, 86% increase in accidents

29.6% increase in population, 86% increase in accidents

By most standards, Manteca has seen a drop in crime.

In 2008, there were 323 residential burglaries. Only 57 in 2021

Vehicle theft peaked in 2005 at 798. 221 by 2021.

During that time, Manteca’s population has exploded by nearly 30%.

But Mayor Ben Cantu noted earlier this month that many of the people he spoke to during his re-election campaign felt less safe.

The mayor said they were concerned about accidents caused by driving the Cantu with the “Wild West” feel that has prevailed on city streets for years.

Figures kept by the Manteca police station underscore public anxiety.

Between 2010 and 2021, Manteca’s:

* Population increased 29.6% to 89,000.

*Accidents increased 86 percent, from 637 to 1,187

* Tickets issued for traffic violations, a significant contributor to accidents, fell 6 percent from 2,019 to 1,887.

*The full-time traffic enforcement unit is the same as the five police officers.

That’s why Cantu has been calling for the city to find ways to hire more traffic enforcement officers for the past four years.

the reason is simple. Studies, experts, and patrol officers have shown that enforcement of driving violations such as speeding, not giving way, running red lights, and slipping cars has a direct impact on the occurrence of accidents.

In Manteca, the chances of a criminal taking the life of you or a loved one are far less likely than driving, biking or walking around town.

There was 1 homicide in Manteca in 2021, while there were 3 traffic fatalities on surface streets. The odds of dying from distracted driving, speeding and running a red light were 200 percent higher.

Things got worse in 2020, with three homicides and six traffic fatalities recorded in Manteca.

In terms of injuries, there were 112 serious assaults in Manteca last year, and 211 incidents in which at least one driver/passenger was injured enough to need to be taken to a hospital emergency room.

On top of that, the total number of accidents in Manteca increased by 23.28% last year, from 958 in 2020 to 1,181 in 2021. This is the second time in a year that Manteca has had more than 1,000 accidents.

Remember, these accidents are reports filled out by the Manteca police, not fender bender accidents.

While the city doesn’t track the financial cost of traffic accidents, it’s not hard to attribute the 3.2 accidents per day in 2021 to the Manteca police response, arguing that it’s more costly to citizens than crime.

According to 2019 figures released by Bankrate, the property lost $8,275 in just one typical collision. The average cost of a personal injury accident is $18,417.

Using just average property damage and not adding personal injuries, Manteca’s 1,181 accidents in 2021 cost at least $10.3 million.

In comparison, $4.7 million worth of property was stolen from Manteca in 2021 and $2.3 million was recovered. This reflects a net property loss from crime of $2.4 million.

This means that the economic losses from traffic accidents in 2021 are at least four times the losses from Manteca crime.

Proponents of strengthening the traffic department argue that this is the most effective way to reduce accidents because of the “education/enforcement process” of stopping and “educating” offenders on the road by issuing tickets, or “educating” them with warnings. Effects on those who develop bad habits. Obviously, not all drivers can be “educated” to change the way they drive.

Manteca still lags behind in terms of dedicated traffic enforcement manpower.

If staffing is based on numerical ratios only, Manteca has a staffing deficit of 1.5 traffic officers. In any case, the Manteca City Council has not increased the staffing of the transport sector beyond 2009 levels.

Also adds a lot of street miles.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, please email

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