Q: In a recent column, you mentioned a targeted CHP enforcement action on Interstate 880 and Highway 101. Can you please tell CHP and other law enforcement agencies that targeted enforcement may feel good, and net them a lot of tickets, but it doesn’ t help keep traffic sane elsewhere? I miss the days when we monitored ourselves because we saw CHP and police regularly, and knew we could get a ticket anywhere, anytime.
Today’s drivers are crazy, and there is virtually no enforcement (except the “targeted” kind). I never see traffic cops in Hayward or on Interstate 580. A friend says they are never around in Fremont, either, which used to be very strict.
My parents, my friends and I are all getting scared to drive.
Julie Machado, Hayward
A: I understand your fears, based on the way so many people drive now. In the best of all worlds, crackdowns would not be used to replace regular enforcement. Instead, they would supplement regular patrols in areas needing extra attention, such as areas with a high frequency of crashes, out-of-control-speeding, red-light running, or carpool cheating. Ideally, there would be more regular enforcement, but unfortunately, there are not enough officers to go around.
Police departments in San Jose and Oakland have cut back on traffic enforcement units. Retired-CHP-Officer-Turned-Roadshow-Advisor-Gary explains:
“When I was first assigned to the San Jose area in 1968, we had 120 officers in the area. Since then, the number of officers has decreased while the roadway miles to be patrolled have increased. Interstates 280 and 680 and Highway 85 were all added, along with expressways, with no increase in the number of officers. In order to provide the kind of coverage your writer would like to see, there needs to be a large increase in the number of officers, which means a big boost in the CHP budget needed to allow this to happen.”
Q: The mask requirement has been lifted from buses, in airports, etc., but I noticed VTA buses are still driving around with “No mask no ride” messages. Why are they still displaying these signs outside the buses?
Gary Moitozo, San Jose
A: VTA started changing signs on its buses the day the mask requirement was dropped, but they have 400-plus buses and have not gotten to all of them yet. They recommend wearing masks, but do not require them.