Report: Scottsdale saw 17% increase in car accidents year-over-year
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press
The Scottsdale Police Department is reporting a 17% increase in speed-related traffic collisions along municipal roads, avenues and thoroughfares.
Scottsdale City Council has approved a budget transfer — dollars set aside for future grants — of up to $70,000 to assist the local police department in what it calls “Selective Traffic Enforcement.”
Scottsdale Police Chief Jeff Walther explains through the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety patrol efforts can now focus on aggressive driving behavior.
“In 2020 there were 3,360 total traffic collisions, which increased to 3,921 in 2021, a 17% increase,” said Chief Walther said in an Oct. 18 report to City Council.
“There are several factors to consider when seeking the cause for the increase, the most notable being the sheer volume of traffic in Scottsdale in 2021. In 2020, the ongoing pandemic transitioned many employees to work from home and closed several entertainment venues, which significantly reduced the volume of day to day traffic.”
Chief Walther points out the grant dollars will help shoulder overtime costs but also allow acute patrol to reduce aggressive and excessively fast driving.
“While the volume of traffic decreased, the speeds of the vehicles on the roadways increased,” he said. “Unfortunately, 2021 saw an increase in vehicles on the roadways with the same increased speeds. Therefore, the department applied for grant funding to increase enforcement related to aggressive driving, including excessive speed and street racing.”
Emboldened through Resolution No. 12614, Scottsdale City Council, Tuesday, Oct. 18, approved the grant program from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in unanimous fashion through adoption of its consent agenda.
“The importance of continued enforcement related to street racing and aggressive driving are imperative,” Chief Walther said. “Grant funds will allow the department to conduct additional targeted details throughout the city, including those areas which the mayor and/or council members receive complaints from citizens related to aggressive and unsafe driving behaviors.”
Chief Walther says the goal is to reduce speed-related crashes by 10% over the next calendar year.
“The goal will be to decrease the number of speeding related crashes by 10% from 804 accidents to 723 accidents by Dec. 31, 2023,” he said.