BELL — The addition of a two-man motorcycle team for traffic control has resulted in a substantial increase in traffic citations since the team began its patrols in February, police officials say.
A city report shows that 4,248 citations were issued during the first six months of the year, an increase of more than 1,900 over all of 1984. The increase in June alone was more than 600% over June, 1984, officials said.
Bell-Cudahy Police Chief Frank Fording, who credits the team with most of the increase in citations, said the motorcycle patrol was added to help alleviate rush-hour traffic problems caused by Huntington Park and Maywood motorists using Bell streets to get to and from the Long Beach Freeway.
Revenue Up 38%
More than 70,000 vehicles travel on Florence and Atlantic avenues through the 2.8-square-mile city, making those streets the city's busiest, officials said. Through August, more than $100,000 in city revenues had been generated this year from traffic citations, a 38% increase over revenues for the same time last year, officials said.
Money generated from traffic citations and from drunken driving convictions goes to the city's general fund, officials said.
One of the officers is assigned to patrol from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, while the other works from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, police said.
Officers Stay Visible
Motorcycle Officer Robert Diaz said that while patrolling he tries to stay as visible as possible, never keying on a particular area during the day.
"Most of the people from Bell and Cudahy know that we're out here," he said. "So when motorists are paying more attention to us, they start paying more attention to the road."
Diaz said the majority of his citations are for motorists speeding, running stop signals and making turning violations. More tickets are also going to bicyclists who ride dangerously.
"The kids out here sort of ride around in la-la land," he said.
Traffic accidents in Bell rose over the past three years, with more than 300 occurring since the beginning of this year, officials said. Last year, 389 accidents were reported.
An accident location report showed the intersections of Florence and Wilcox avenues, Atlantic and Florence avenues and Atlantic and Gage avenues to have the highest accident rate in Bell.
Officials speculated that reasons for this year's increase ranged from heavy traffic congestion to a need for installation of left-turn signals.