Lubbock police focusing on traffic enforcement like your life depends on it … because it does

Are you more afraid of getting murdered or dying in a traffic accident?

There are roughly twice as many deaths from traffic accidents than murders in Lubbock.

There are roughly twice as many deaths from traffic accidents than murders in Lubbock – which is why the Lubbock Police Department has been and will continue to improve traffic enforcement.

This column in Lubbock Lights will be part of that effort – and there’s more to come.

Please don’t take that to mean we’re reducing effort on violent crimes against people, such as murder, assault, rape.

We have not and won’t.

But there are few random acts of violence against people. In most cases, the people know each other.

Those are hard to predict and stop unless someone calls us.

But we can do a lot of prevent traffic deaths and we are.

We’ve stepped up Driving While Intoxicated enforcement with a focus around 2 a.m.

  • We’ve stepped up Driving While Intoxicated enforcement with a focus around 2 a.m.
  • We’re keeping more eyes on speeders – especially around 7 p.m.
  • We now give written warnings. Our choices before were a verbal warning or a ticket. The written warning does not show up on your record. But let’s say we pull you over for speeding and you get a written warning. Then you’re pulled over a few weeks later for speeding. We can see the written warning and at that point chances are very high you’ll get a ticket. Hopefully, the written warning made an impact and you’re watching your speed. Also, the written warning is a local record. If you’re pulled over in Dallas for speeding, the written warning will not show up. But don’t speed in Dallas either!
  • Our Reckless or Aggressive Driver Unit will stamp drivers who are driving dangerously. When they go to court, we hope that means a larger fine.
  • The ‘Stang Gang. We have a traffic enforcement team who drive Mustangs and call themselves the ‘Stang Gang. We still have officers on motorcycles. But the Mustang is cheaper to operate than a motorcycle or Tahoe, they can operate at night and in all kinds of weather.

The goal of all of this is voluntary compliance. If fewer people speed, follow traffic laws and don’t drive distracted – we should have fewer accidents which means fewer deaths, injuries and property damage.

This is serious and if you don’t comply, you’ll pay a price. Hopefully it’s just financial.

This is serious and if you don’t comply, you’ll pay a price. Hopefully it’s just financial.

Law enforcement is starting to understand the importance of traffic enforcement.

The Houston Police Department is reframing DWIs as a violent crime.

And please know, we’re doing this and minding your tax dollars.

We can always use more people and equipment.

My job is how to allocate what we do have.

Traditionally, police departments only put people in traffic as something on the side or when they have extra people.

We’re getting more serious about traffic enforcement because it’s a life-and-death issue – your life and death – and our job is to protect you.

So follow traffic laws, encourage others to do the same and know this – we’re watching.

Greg Stevens is chief of the Lubbock Police Department.