Half as many traffic citations were given out in West Hollywood in fiscal year 2017 as were five years earlier. That is according to a new report by WeHo by the Numbers, based on city data. The figures exclude red light camera tickets. The report does not explore possible reasons for the decline, such as safer driving or changes in enforcement.
In West Hollywood, traffic enforcement is handled by the traffic division at the Sheriff’s station. The division has two traffic motor deputies, seven traffic enforcement cars, one traffic detective and a deputy who handles red light photo enforcement. They are supervised by a sergeant.
In fiscal year 2017 — July 2016 to June 2017 — deputies patrolling city streets wrote about 5,000 citations. That is 14 tickets a day. It excludes tickets from red light cameras.
Deputies wrote twice as many citations a few years ago. Over 10,000 citations were issued in FY2010 (excluding red light cameras). The number rose above 11,000 in FY2012. The number fell steadily in the following fiscal years, except for a small rebound in FY2016.
The report compares the number of citations in West Hollywood to Culver City, excluding red light camera tickets. West Hollywood’s citation count was similar to Culver City’s in calendar years 2012 and 2016. Between those years, the number of citations dropped by half in both cities. It happened faster in West Hollywood, so West Hollywood had significantly fewer citations than Culver City in calendar years 2013, 2014 and 2015.
The report also compares West Hollywood to Culver City after adjusting for population and for how much driving is done in each city (vehicle miles traveled). West Hollywood’s 2016 citation rate per capita was similar to Culver City’s. West Hollywood’s 2016 citation rate per vehicle mile traveled was roughly 80% higher than Culver City’s.
Between 2010 and 2017, 14% of West Hollywood’s traffic citations (excluding red light camera tickets) were for speeding. That is one in seven. The number declined at roughly the same rate as traffic citations as a whole. There were over 1,500 speeding tickets in F Y2012 versus about 700 in FY 2017. That is two a day.
In most years, 20% to 25% of traffic citations (excluding red light camera tickets) were for talking or texting on a cell phone. However, in FY 2015 and FY 2016, the talking/texting share dropped to 12%. It returned to 23% in FY 2017. Deputies wrote more than 1,100 citations for talking or texting that year, or three a day.
Texting did not make up a big part of the total until FY 2017. That year, texting represented 15% of tickets, compared to 8% for talking. Back in FY 2010, texting was 1% and talking was 20%.
To find out about right light camera tickets, see the full report, How many traffic tickets are given out in West Hollywood?