A San Francisco police officer cites a motorist for a traffic violation in the Mission. (Mike Koozmin/2014 S.F. Examiner)

A San Francisco police officer cites a motorist for a traffic violation in the Mission. (Mike Koozmin/2014 S.F. Examiner)

Traffic citations see big jump

New San Francisco police data shows citations of the five most dangerous driving behaviors are up.

Way up.

The San Francisco Police Department’s “Focus on Five” citations have increased 34 percent since 2014. That’s a jump from 7,774 citations in the second quarter of 2014 to 10,398 citations by the second quarter of 2015.

The numbers were revealed in a presentation to the Police Commission on Wednesday night by Cmdr. Ann Mannix, head of the SFPD’s traffic company.

“We, as a department, are committed to focusing on the five,” Mannix said. “It’s really getting down to those officers on the street.”

The Focus on Five citations target driver behaviors that risk lives the most: speeding, running red lights, failing to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks, failing to yield while making a left or U-turn, and failing to fully stop at stop signs.

The enforcement is part of The City’s Vision Zero goal to eliminate traffic collision deaths by 2024. In 2014, 22 people were killed while walking and biking in San Francisco. This year, 15 people have died walking and biking.

Two people died in vehicles last year, according to the SFPD. There have been no deaths of people in vehicles so far this year.

“Last year, we issued more citations than we issued in the history of the department,” Mannix said.

Advocates who attended the presentation praised the SFPD’s progress. Nicole Ferrara, executive director of the pedestrian advocacy group Walk SF, called it “fantastic.”

The SFPD’s goal is for 50 percent of all its traffic citations to be part of the Focus on Five. So far, no station has yet reached that goal, but many are gaining fast.

No stations issued as many citations as Richmond Station, which handed out 1,648 citations by the second quarter of 2015. Taraval Station, Northern Station and Bayview Station all were citation leaders. By far the most citations were issued for speeding, with 3,158 issued this year.

The SFPD focuses enforcement at senior centers and schools, Mannix said, as the elderly and children are the most likely to die after a traffic collision. The department also tickets around The City’s most dangerous intersections, sometimes with the use of pedestrian decoys.

Ferrara said meetings with trauma experts from local hospitals revealed 50 percent of trauma center patients in San Francisco are traffic-injury patients. “There are more severe injuries than are being captured in police data,” she said. “People have injuries that are not reported.”

Tyler Frisbee of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition was also thankful of the SFPD.

“I hope after the presentation we saw, we can take a deep breath and be grateful to Cmdr. Mannix,” Frisbee said.

San Jose is taking a cue from San Francisco’s life-saving efforts, according to Mannix.

“They are actually taking the San Francisco model with the focus on the five approach,” she said. “It’s important to realize we are all leaders in this. It’s a little scary, a little terrifying, because we’re figuring this out as we go.”

“We should take that honor and responsibility,” she said.

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