By Karen Billing
The Rancho Santa Fe Association’s contract with the California Highway Patrol to provide supplemental services in the Covenant has resulted in an increase in moving violation enforcement on Ranch roads, according to a report presented to the RSF Association board Sept. 19.
Citations for moving violations such as speeding, unsafe passing, illegal turning and other violations are up from 450 from January through August of 2012 to 550 for the same span this year.
Chris Livoni, RSF Association associate planner, said that while moving violations are up, the number of speeding violations has generally trended downward over the last six years.
Livoni said a contributing factor to the increase in moving violations has been due to the decrease of the parking citations as more people are buying into the village timed parking program.
In 2012, the overtime CHP patrol issued 103 parking citations over the first eight months of the year and in this year they have issued 70.
“The success there has seen the ability for CHP officers to move their efforts to more pressing issues,” Livoni said.
Input from the RSF Patrol and community member complaints informs where the CHP focuses its enforcement efforts. CHP Officer Jim Gaffney said recent problem times and areas include El Camino Del Norte where they see a lot of traffic coming from Escondido, and drivers blowing through the Avenida de Acacias and La Granada stop sign during school pick-up time.
Gaffney said he also writes a lot of bicycle tickets due to complaints about groups of cyclists riding side-by-side on the road, and not following traffic laws.
Since 2004, the Association has contracted with the CHP for supplemental services in addition to the CHP’s regular enforcement. So far in 2013, CHP officers have worked a total of 79 shifts, generally eight hours each.
RSF Patrol Chief Matt Wellhouser said he thinks the CHP supplemental contract is the best thing the Association has done for enforcement and safety, noting the steady decline in both the number and severity of vehicle crashes.
Livoni agreed, saying, “The Association’s contract with the CHP continues to show measurable results and it really is a great program that benefits the community.”