SAN DIEGO — The union representing San Diego police officers is sounding the alarm over the increase in traffic deaths despite the City’s Vision Zero campaign to get traffic deaths down to zero.
SDPOA says San Diego streets are getting deadlier.
Just last week, a man and a woman were hit in Ocean Beach by a driver who just took off.
San Diego County Crime Stoppers is now offering an award to help find that suspect.
Neighbors say this happens too often.
On Greene Street, just off Point Loma Boulevard, in Ocean Beach, neighbors are uneasy after a driver plowed into a couple and sped off.
“It’s scary because I love my neighborhood but there have been a lot of aggressive cars,” neighbor Matt Stanton said.
The San Diego Police Officers Association is raising the alarm over the rise of traffic deaths despite the City’s Vision Zero initiative to bring traffic deaths down to zero by 2025.
“We’re absolutely in the last two years trending in the wrong direction,” SDPOA Jared Wilson said. “In 2017, we had the mid 30s for fatal traffic collisions, which is still too many.”
A Vision Zero update found there were 67 deadly traffic collisions in 2021. That jumped to 69 deaths last year.
“Traffic collisions almost double and in the same timeframe the traffic enforcement has been reduced in half,” Wilson said.
Wilson says the lack of officers and cuts to SDPD’s traffic enforcement worsens the problem.
“Traffic enforcement saves lives,” Wilson said. “The people who live in the neighborhoods want the traffic laws enforced. They want people to be held accountable when they’re speeding, to be held accountable when they’re running those red lights, running those stops signs and we’re just not able to have those officers in the field to enforce those laws because we’re chasing 911 calls, because we’re 200 officers down.”
He advocates to re-staff and reinvest in SDPD’s traffic division.
“Specifically traffic division, I would agree with that,” Stanton said. “I’ve lived other places and I rarely see anyone pulled over. If they stick strictly to traffic I would agree with that.”
The two victims from the Ocean Beach hit-and-run are currently hospitalized.
FOX 5 also reached out to the City’s Transportation Department for comment. We are waiting to hear back.