Turlock Police Department
Traffic Safety Unit
The primary purpose of the Traffic Safety Unit is to provide for the safety of motorists and pedestrians utilizing public and private conveyances in the City of Turlock. To achieve safer streets, officers utilize a three pronged approach known as the "Three E’s" of traffic safety; education, enforcement and engineering. Speed trailer deployment, DUI and Driver License Checkpoints, and warnings issued during enforcement stops are some of the means officers utilize to educate the public regarding unsafe driving practices or conditions. Officers take enforcement action when unsafe conditions require such measures. Finally, officers work closely with the City of Turlock traffic engineers
in an effort to reduce the frequency of traffic collisions through roadway design changes.
The Turlock Police Department Traffic Safety Unit is currently staffed with one motor sergeant, two motor officers, and a Community Services Officer. The Community Services Officer conducts parking enforcement, manages the taxi and tow permits, and operates the child seat safety program. All of the motorcycles were added through a grant from the State of California Office of Traffic Safety
. In addition to traffic safety, the Traffic Unit's duties include tow truck and taxicab permits, parade permits, and many other traffic related duties. The Traffic Safety Unit is also responsible for investigating collisions resulting in a fatality.
We have recently received a traffic safety grant from the State of California Office of Traffic Safety. The purpose of the grant is to reduce the number of traffic collisions, reduce the number of people not using seatbelts, reduce driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs (DUI), and reduce the number of people driving with a suspended license or no license at all. The grant will also help to increase driver awareness and improve the overall vehicular and pedestrian safety within the City of Turlock. We will accomplish this through education and enforcement activities.
Avoid the 12
Turlock Police Traffic Safety Unit also manages the countywide “Avoid the 12” DUI Taskforce grant from the Office of Traffic Safety. This grant pays for all of the law enforcement agencies in the county to join together to enforce drunk driving laws.
We conduct DUI/Drivers License checkpoints throughout the city and county, throughout the year. Unlicensed drivers and those with suspended licenses are many more times as likely to be involved in an accident as a licensed driver. These checkpoints have resulted in hundreds of arrests.
Traffic Safety Unit Motorcycles
The Traffic Safety Unit currently uses four 2006 Honda ST1300 Police (provided through an OTS Grant). These motorcycles are specially designed for traffic enforcement. Motorcycles are especially effective due to their mobility in heavy traffic and are equipped with traffic radar. The cordless, handheld Stalker radar units and Stalker moving radars were provided through an OTS Grant as well, and are highly accurate and very effective.
*FACT* Moving radar on our police motorcycles can track up to four targets simultaneously, both ahead of AND behind the officer. The radar will determine if the target is moving toward or away and the speed of the vehicle regardless if the police motorcycle is in motion or stationary. These are the most advanced law enforcement radar systems available for motorcycles.
Motor Officer Training
A motorcycle officer is a unique position. Law enforcement is inherently dangerous. Riding motorcycles is also inherently dangerous. Motor officers do both at the same time. Becoming a motor officer is an exceptional point in a police career. Turlock Police Department requires applicants already have an M1 (motorcycle) license endorsement and have three years experience at Turlock Police Department prior to applying. Once selected into the motor unit, officers must complete pre-training prior to going to their official training. After pre-training, officers must complete a two week P.O.S.T. approved motor officer school at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Academy.
*OFC Simbalenko in a tight turn
This two week course is an intensive program that is both exhausting and rewarding. It gives motor officers the fundamentals they need to survive as a Solo Motor Officer. After the two week school, motor officers complete a two week field training program where they ride with an experienced motor officer. This is the time where they learn to apply the fundamentals they learned in school to the field. Altogether, officers spend six weeks in training before they are “solo.”
*Sgt Cervenka and Ofc Simbalenko
in an tandem Figure 8. They are
about 18 inches apart.
Turlock Police Department Motor Officers conduct monthly training after that. This ensures that basic skills are continually honed. This training day usually consists of practicing in cone patterns followed by qualification. Repeated failure of qualification results in the motor officer losing their motorcycle until they can qualify. Officers also practice tandem riding in the city and on highways. This is a highly specialized skill that requires a lot of practice.
*Dusel completing a tight
You may see Turlock motor officers in groups driving through parks or outside of Turlock. We go to different areas with different terrain. Being able to do a figure 8 on a flat road is completely different than doing a figure 8 on a 25% grade. All of this training ensures the Turlock Police Motor Officers are exceptional riders.
Traffic Safety Unit Members
While all Turlock Police Officers, Community Service Officers, and Cadets write parking tickets, one of CSO Hoover’s primary functions is the enforcement of parking laws. We identify problem areas from citizen complaints, complaints from officers, and our own observations. Often, if there has been little or no enforcement in an area, the Traffic Safety Unit does some form of education prior to enforcement. This includes flyers, letters, and verbal warnings. While this is not required, the Traffic Safety Unit feels it forms a trust with the community. Our #1 goal is compliance.
If you would like more information on parking citations, payment, and dispute procedures, please click here
to go to the Turlock Police Records Parking Citation page.
CSO Hoover also handles complaints about abandoned vehicles. Vehicles that have been parked on a street for more than 72 hrs, inoperable vehicles or hazardous vehicles may be considered abandoned. By law, there is a 10-day notification where the owner is sent a letter and given 10 days to move the vehicle. If you would like to report an abandoned vehicle, please contact the Traffic Safety Unit at (209) 664-7380.
The Traffic Safety Unit wants to educate youth of the importance of safe bicycling. We stress the point it is important for youths to wear helmets while riding a bicycle as it is for adults to wear seatbelts while driving. The Turlock Police Department provides free bicycle helmets to children under 18 years old. Please ask for the Bicycle Patrol Sergeant for further information.
Also, bicycles MUST follow the same rules of the road as vehicles. While riding during darkness, a headlight and reflectors are required by law. Bicyclists can be cited for violations just like motorists.
the use of a properly worn bicycle helmet would reduce the number of head injuries by 80% in bicycle accidents!!
Modern technological advances have greatly increased safety in vehicles. However, the proper use of seatbelts is still the most effective in reducing injuries in the event of a collision. The proper way to wear a shoulder harness seatbelt is to have the shoulder strap OVER the shoulder resting about halfway from your neck to the edge of your shoulder. The belt should be snug, but not restricting or causing discomfort.
did you know if you wear the shoulder strap of your seatbelt UNDER your arm you could be cited for improper seatbelt use?
Expired, broken, or recalled car seats
Car seats are required for children under 8 years old OR under 4'9" tall. The car seat must also be properly installed for it to be effective and legal. The Traffic Safety Unit has Certified Car Safety Seat Technicians on staff. They are qualified to install car seats. Please contact us with any car seat questions. There is no need to feel embarrassed to ask for help with a car seat. They can be technical and difficult to understand. If you need financial assistance to purchase a car seat, call us. Our number one goal with this program is to ensure the safety of children in vehicles. We also conduct sar seat checkups. If you business is interested in hosting, please contact Sgt Cervenka.
If you are involved in a collision where the airbags have deployed, the vehicle is considered unsafe to drive. If you are involved in a frontal collision where the airbags have NOT deployed, there is a chance they may deploy at a random time. For your safety, always have your vehicle inspected by a licensed professional after a collision and before driving it.
A vehicle accident can be a traumatic event. The best thing to do is stay calm and not get into a confrontation with the other party. After an accident occurs, determine if you or your occupants are injured, then determine if anyone in the other party is injured. If ANYONE is injured, call 9-1-1 immediately. Be ready to give your location and a description of the injuries.
If there are no injuries, you can exchange information with the other party. State Law requires certain information be exchanged IMMEDIATELY after a collision. The Turlock Police Department Traffic Safety Unit has developed a downloadable form
you can keep in your car for this event. Please print this form, and keep it handy. Make sure you get as much information requested on the form as possible. Your insurance company will need it. The form is for you, your records, and your insurance company.
State law requires accidents resulting in more than $750 damage to be reported to the DMV. The DMV requires an SR 1 to be filed with them within 10 days. Failure to file the SR 1 could result in the suspension of your driver’s license. Many insurance companies do this for you. Be sure and ask your insurance company if they will be filing the SR1. If they do not, click http://www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/sr/sr1.pdf
for the downloadable SR1 from DMV.
Ofc Dusel issuing a citation.
Nobody enjoys being stopped by the police. We understand it is embarrassing and uncomfortable. However, it is a necessity for public safety that Police Officers stop those who are violating the law. Traffic laws were established to provide safety for everyone. Even if you are the one being stopped, hopefully you will correct your driving habits. This may save your life or someone else’s life.
If you are stopped DO the following:
Do NOT do these things:
- Pull safely to the RIGHT side of the road
- Remain seated with your seatbelt on
- Roll down the driver AND passenger windows
- Turn your radio and vehicle off
- Wait for the officer with your hands in easy view
- Get out of the car without being instructed to do so
- Begin looking for paperwork before the officer tells you to
- Become argumentative or hostile
- Throw items inside or outside of your vehicle
Remember, the citation is simply a promise to appear in court. If you do not agree with the citation you will be given a court date where a judge will decide the outcome.
The Turlock Police Department Traffic Safety Unit has two MPH matrix messaging radar trailers that were provide through an OTS grant. These top-of-the-line units have the ability to display hundreds of messages. They can be used to advise of traffic issues as well as speed monitoring. If you feel that speed is an issue in your neighborhood or in any other area of the city, a radar trailer can be placed there. Often times, motorists don’t realize how fast they are traveling. Radar trailers do NOT take pictures of motorists. They simply advise motorists of their speed and the speed they should be traveling. Due to natural hazards such as narrow roadways or soft shoulders, the radar trailers cannot be placed everywhere. If you would like an area to be considered for radar trailer placement, please call the Traffic Safety Unit at (209) 664-7380.
The Turlock Police Traffic Safety Unit has established a page on Facebook. This page gives up to date and important information. It will report when we are holding DUI checkpoints, traffic congestion concerns due to major events, and special enforcement times. Please click here
to link to the page.
Providing a safe commuting environment
The Traffic Safety Unit’s and the Turlock Police Department’s sincere desire is provide a safe environment for those who live, work or travel in Turlock. With your cooperation, we can make our community a happy and healthy environment.
For traffic related questions or complaints please contact the Traffic Safety Unit at 668-5550 ext. 6680.
Remember – Slow DOWN and Buckle UP!